Antwerp welfare gave stranded Kiribati sailors a warm welcome

At the beginning of February, the Monte Pascoal, a container ship under the flag of Singapore, moored in the port of Antwerp. The crew included six sailors from Kiribati who were able to sign off in Antwerp after 12 months on board and who stayed in Antwerp pending their repatriation.

Waiting for their visa for the Fiji Islands, the sailors would have to stay for a while in the cold Scheldt city (0 ° to 5 ° C.) while their clothing was by no means provided for winter temperatures.

In the meantime, the Antwerp seaman missions had been contacted via the agency in Hamburg with a request for help. The Antwerp shipping agency Steder Group cooperated by providing taxis to take the Kiribatis to our sailor's hotel.

In the Seamans' Shop, also part of the Welfare, Ann had provided warm second-hand clothes; especially thick jumpers and warm vests, which were made available free of charge.

The shipping company Hamburg Süd, acting as agent for Maersk in the German port city of Hamburg, sent the following e-mail to Jörg Pfautsch, chaplain of the Deutsche Seemannsmission in Antwerp:

Hello Jörg,

 That’s really great to hear and we are also hoping for a fast repatriation.

And a big thank you for your help and also for the information. If we don’t get the approval and they have stay longer in Antwerp we will check if we can get them to the Antwerp Harbour Hotel.

 I wish you a nice evening!

 Mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards,

Aylin Saltik (Ms)

Talent & Development Administrator
Talent and Development

Marine HR


The sailors expressed their gratitude for the reception and for the clothing received. Jörg Pfautsch then emailed back to Hamburg: The crewmembers were very happy and thankful for the contact and the clothes….

I hope that they can start as fast as possible the voyage to Kiribati to see the families after such a long time away from home…

If we can help with anything concerning crews matters in the future, please contact us. 

The “Antwerp Harbour Hotel” is a modern and well equipped hotel for maritime guests. (

All Antwerp seamensmissions and welfare organisations are based here and we focus on the wellbeing of our seafarers in the port of Antwerp.

 Mit freundlichen Grüßen / best regards,

Jörg Pfautsch, port-chaplain

Deutsche Seemannsmission Antwerpen vzw

c/o Antwerp Harbour Hotel

Noorderlaan 100, bus 2

B - 2030 Antwerpen





Antwerp welfare gave stranded Kiribati sailors a warm welcome

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