Felixstowe/Waterfront: Nun saves the day for cargo ship crew who had not been paid for three months

A GENEROUS nun went the extra mile to help the crew of cargo ship who had not been paid.

Sister Marian Davey, Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) chaplain to the Haven East Anglia ports, was asked by a Special Branch officer to visit a cargo ship in Ipswich because he was concerned about the welfare of the crew.

She was told by the angry crew that they hadn’t been paid for almost three months.

She said: “The chief engineer said he had no rags to clean the oil from the engine.

“So I went and bought some sheets in a charity shop.”

After negotiations between the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the shipping company, the crew were eventually paid up to the end of August. But then spent 37 days anchored off Felixstowe awaiting orders.

The sister said: “The cook contacted me to say that they had very little fresh water, which meant they couldn’t shower or use the toilet or wash their clothes. Being in these conditions on a small ship puts a crew under serious psychological stress.”

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When the ship returned to Ipswich, the nun provided the crew with bread, fresh vegetables and phone cards to contact their families in Russia and Cape Verde. But the company again failed to pay the next month’s salary on time.

“When a crew isn’t paid it also affects their families,” she said. “I think this practice is becoming more widespread in the shipping industry.”

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