Port of Tyne introduces merchant shipping welfare fund
A fund to provide welfare support for merchant ships’ sailors visiting the Port of Tyne has raised approximately £10,000.
The welfare fund, established in January 2016, enables shipping lines to pay a voluntary levy each time one of their vessels come into port, while the port contributes 50p for every £1 collected.
Andrew Moffat, CEO at Port of Tyne, said the fund is “targeted specifically for crew members who may need some support in a variety of ways, whether that is a phone call to contact their families, get some welfare advice or provide emergency care, we hope it will help to make a difference.”
The levy is based on a vessel’s gross tonnage and ranges from £20-30 per ship, payable on the vessel’s first ten visits to the port each calendar year.
Port of Tyne set up the scheme with the Merchant Navy Welfare Board, which aims to establish similar schemes in other UK ports.
Mr Moffat stated: “We are delighted that we have been able to work with the Merchant Navy Welfare Board and introduce a scheme that provides practical help and support to the many ships’ crews who come in to our port.”
The money raised so far will be distributed to projects that support seafarers, via the Merchant Navy Welfare Board - providing funding to the principal welfare organisations that provide services to seafarers visiting the Tyne, including the Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of the Sea and Fishermen’s Mission.
Going forward, the welfare fund is expected to enable visits to ships and provide legal support, translation and communication support, counselling, transport and emergency care for over 100,000 seafarers who arrive at the port each year.
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