Did you know that 67 ships sank, were grounded or lost at sea during 2012? Twenty-five of those shipwrecks resulted in the loss of at least 943 lives. Fishers and seafarers work in what is recognised as some of the most dangerous occupations in the world.
The challenges that seafarers face include navigating dangerous oceans with the threat of piracy and shipwreck. Separation from family and friends and long working hours can make it a dangerous, tough and lonely job.
On 14 July, Sea Sunday offers an opportunity to become more aware of the importance of the seafaring industry. Seafarers transport up to 95 percent of the food and goods the world uses daily.
Many shipwreck stories go untold and even unnoticed unlike a plane crash which is often splashed all over the media.
The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) cares for fishers and seafarers visiting New Zealand’s ports. In our country’s four AoS centres – Auckland, Wellington, Tauranga and Napier – Catholic volunteers help visiting seafarers to find their way around onshore, check Mass times, access the Internet, buy basic supplies and send money home.
AoS is responsible to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Archbishop John Dew is the AoS Episcopal Promoter in Aotearoa NZ, overseeing the work of national director Fr Jeff Drane sm.
AoS is part of an international network of about 150 Stella Maris centres worldwide in cooperation with other faith groups in about 100 other centres.
Send donations to Mr Robin Adair, National Secretary/Treasurer AoS, PO Box 273, Waikanae 5250 (donations qualify for the charitable donations tax rebate). For more information, contact Fr Jeff Drane on (04) 389-9730.