Dee's story

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

Dee, a seafarer from Ghana, was working off the coast of Ireland when he received the heartbreaking news that his wife had died suddenly. To make matters worse, this tragic event left his only child, seven-year-old Daniel, alone and scared, thousands of miles away.

But Dee - after travelling 150 miles from the Port of Tramore up to Belfast airport - was unable to fly home to be there for his son. In a cruel twist of fate, his passport had expired the day before his wife passed away.

Fortunately, thanks to your support, the Mission was able to be there in Dee's time of need.

Our chaplain in Belfast, the Revd Colin Hall-Thompson, received a call late on a Sunday night from a member of staff at Belfast airport, telling him about a seafarer in need.

Colin said: "I immediately left for the airport. My priority was to get Dee food and shelter for the night. The Mission to Seafarers was there to help and it was our mission to make sure he was able to return home.

"First thing the following morning, I set about the challenge of securing new travel documents for Dee so he could be with his son as soon as possible. I, along with other Mission staff and volunteers, took to the phones, met with officials and frantically scanned papers and documents to send to relevant authorities.

"Dee, who was sheltering at our emergency Mission accommodation, took great solace from being part of our Christian fellowship. He took part in our morning prayers, praying for his wife and son. This helped him cope with his loss. It gave him peace and hope - he became part of our family.

"Finally, after four days of phone calls, meetings and supplying information, Dee was given a temporary passport and was able to fly home. For Dee, this was the beginning of an answered prayer; finally, he could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Before I took Dee to the aiport, he made a heartfelt speech, thanking all the Mission's staff and volunteers for their prayers and support. We can only imagine how Dee felt stepping on to that plane, grief-stricken, but knowing that he could now finally join his young son at this traumatic time.

"Once home, Dee called me to express his deep thanks for all that the Belfast Mission had done. Dee also sent a thank you card; it still touches me and really brings home the hard but worthwhile work that goes in to helping seafarers overcome their difficulties.

"Dee's return to Ghana to be with his son was only possible because of your continued support of the Mission - thank you so much."

Colin in action on board a ship in Belfast

Your donations enable us to support seafarers and their families during their times of need, wherever they are in the world, whatever the time of day - when no-one else is there to help. Our service ranges from providing food, shelter and counselling during an emergency, to being there for seafarers like Dee who are experiencing tragedy.

In 2012, The Mission to Seafarers was able to support an estimated 830,000 visit to our centres by seafarers across the world. This year we need to reach out to more of the world's 1.3m seafarers and your continued support will:

help to ensure that seafarers can regularly contact home to speak to their loved ones.

help cover our chaplains' cost so that they can reach seafarers in their hour of need.

help to ensure our centres are open to provide a safe welcoming place for seafarers when they come ashore.

Please spare a thought for seafarers like Dee, who urgently need our vital support and care. Help us reach out to them.

To support our appeal, and to help support seafarers around the world in their time of need, click here to donate now.

If you would like more information, please contact us on 020 7248 5202 or email us.

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