The Dayspring launches in Hong Kong

picture : The Dayspring launches in Hong Kong06-03-2015

A new sea-going motor launch – named the Dayspring – has started providing essential welfare services for seafarers out of the port of Hong Kong thanks to The Mission to Seafarers.

 The Mission in Hong Kong has been providing a launch to visit ships at anchor since 1891 and it is as essential to supporting seafarers today as it was over 100 years ago. The new Dayspring was built to replace the existing vessel which had been in service for 20 years but had to be scrapped.  She will bring help and hope to the hard working crews on board the many thousands of merchant ships that visit the great marine anchorages every year, to bring essential food, medicines, supplies and goods from China and on to ports in Europe.

Seafarers in the port are often away at sea for long contracts and increasingly relying on the Mission’s team of Chaplains to provide support and friendship to them when far from home.  The Dayspring has been built thanks to the deep generosity of many of the Mission’s local supporters and donors from the cream of the shipping industry in Hong Kong, who have raised significant funds necessary to continue this much needed - and much loved - service.

 The Dayspring was built by the Cheoy Lee Shipyards in Doumen District Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China. She has been built to the highest standards available and to Lloyd’s Register class. The name of the vessel comes directly from St Luke’s Gospel Chapter 1 Verse 78: “Through the tender mercy of our God, the Dayspring will dawn upon us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 Revd Stephen Miller, Director for East Asia, The Mission to Seafarers, said: “The sentiment of the ‘Dayspring dawning upon us’ is as real to seafarers today as it was all those years ago when the first Mission launch rode the waves of Hong Kong harbor and so we have honoured history and tradition in reinstating that name for our new launch.

 “The Dayspring has been designed to bring Chaplains and other ship-visitors to ships safely, quickly and efficiently; and she will bring comfort to those seamen and women who feel lonely and sad at being so isolated. The Mission provides essential communications services to all seafarers by bringing news and the latest telecommunication data aids available. And for those fortunate crews to be allowed shore leave, she will operate as a regular shuttle service to and from shore. Today, it is just as important as it ever was, to bring fellowship and light to those who feel forgotten or marginalized and nevermore has this been the case than for today’s seafarers.”

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