Category Archives: Latest News

New Lounge for Cruise Ship Crews : Hamburg Steinwerder: Neue Lounge für die Kreuzfahrer-Crew

ICMA welcomes the continuing success of The German Seamen’s Mission in Seafarer Welfare for Crews in the Cruise Industry. ICMA General Secretary; Rev Richard Kilgour comments – ‘the fast expanding cruise industry sector means that the welfare needs of seafarers from ‘cruise ships’ require special attention. This work in Hamburg shows what is possible when mission societies, shipowners, welfare organisations, volunteers and others collaborate together in this way for seafarer ‘shore based welfare provision’.

The German Seaman’s Mission reports at their website: that the Seafarer’s Lounge for the Hamburg Steinwerder Cruise Terminal was opened on Friday 18th September. The ‘lounge’ provides access to phone or Skype communications for seafarers to contact families. A store with sweets and toiletries is also available. Personal counselling support is another aspect of the service for seafarers.
Jürgen Bollmann the President of the German Seamen’s Mission, and former Provost of Hamburg said ‘the Seafarer’s Lounge offers the sailors a “temporary home”.


In 2014; 189 cruise ships with 600,000 passengers visited Hamburg. With ‘HafenCity’ and Altona , the Steinwerder is the third lounge to be established in Hamburg. In the same year altogether at HafenCity and Altona 15,000 crewmembers used the lounges.

These new developments meet a real need for seafarers today; who have limited time to come ashore, or to get out of the harbour. This work is funded by voluntary donations from ship owners, and organised by the German Seaman’s Mission. Volunteer support is also provided through the Federal Voluntary Service

Am Hamburger Kreuzfahrtterminal Steinwerder ist am Freitag(9.18.15) die Seafarer’s Lounge eröffnet worden. Hier können die Seeleute der Kreuzfahrtschiffe über Handy oder Skype Kontakt mit ihren Familien aufnehmen. Dazu werden Süßigkeiten und Hygieneartikel angeboten. Darüber hinaus stehen Seelsorger für persönliche Gespräche bereit.

Die Seafarer’s Lounge biete den Seeleuten “eine Heimat auf Zeit”, sagte der Präsident der Deutschen Seemannsmission, der ehemaligen Hamburg Propst Jürgen Bollmann. Nach der Hafencity und Altona ist die Lounge in Steinwerder die dritte in Hamburg.

Die neue Seafarer’s Lounge befindet sich direkt im neuen Terminal Steinwerder inmitten des ehemaligen Freihafens. Hintergrund für die Einrichtung ist, dass die Seeleute heute kaum noch Zeit haben, aus dem Hamburg Hafen herauszukommen. 189 Kreuzfahrtschiffe mit rund 600.000 Passagieren kamen 2014 nach Hamburg.

Träger der Lounge ist die Seemannsmission Hamburg-Harburg, die auch den Seemannsclub “Duckdalben” unterhält. Zwei feste Kräfte und zwei Bufdis (Bundesfreiwilligendienst) arbeiten hier gemeinsam mit einer Gruppe von Ehrenamtlichen. Die Finanzierung erfolgt über die freiwillige Schiffsabgabe der Reeder. 2014 wurden in den bereits bestehenden Lounges in der Hafencity und in Altona rund 15.000 Crewmitglieder betreut.

Quelle (auch Foto):

Source (including photo):

This report is shared from ICMA member The German Seamen’s Mission – Deutsche Seemannsmission.

The Journey to Montreal 2015…..

The momentum is building this month for the gathering with ICMA and NAMMA at Montreal September 29th-October 2nd 2015.


As the General Secretary opened the proceedings of the recent ICMA Executive Committee meeting in August we committed our work together at Montreal in prayer :  “. . . .let us pray for our time in this meeting and for all the preparations for our Montreal gathering, for the spirit of adventure, discovery and for safe passage and arrival, for success in all we do in the name of International Christian Maritime Association, and especially for the work of those who serve in ports to meet seafarers, and for all at sea in ships in all kinds of conditions, for their wellbeing, their safety, and their families. In Christ’s name.  AMEN

Dr Jason Zuidema Executive Director of NAMMA reports that a hundred people have registered so far for the event, and ICMA will be welcoming some 12 of their 28 member organizations to be represented at the ICMA Annual Meeting Thursday October 1st at 15:00 hrs. at the Conference Venue ; Hotel Zero 1, 1 René-Lévesque Est (East) Montreal, Quebec, H2X 3Z5

ICMA members’ representation 2015:

– Apostleship of the Sea
– Christian Seamen’s Organisation
– Deutsche Seemannsmission
– Mission to Seafarers
– Nederlandse Zeemanscentrale
– Seemannsmission der Nordkirche
– PCT Seamen’s/Fishermen’s Service Center Taiwan
– Sailors’ Society
– Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey
– Stichting Pastoraat Werkers Overzee
– Suomen Merimieskirkko

The meeting will bring many partners in seafarers welfare together with us to share the programme for the week. Significant topics of concern are discussed and our networks are reinforced for the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. Our partners and contributors here include Seafarers UK, Merchant Navy Welfare Board, ISWAN, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, ITF/SIU, Lutheran Advocates for Maritime Mission, Port Ministries International, AOS-USA and more.

NOTE TO ICMA MEMBERS AND REPRESENTATIVES : Papers and Agenda/Reports for the Annual General Meeting have been emailed already to organizations. This year we are offering for those unable to travel to Montreal to join us on Thursday 1st October by video-conference link.  If an organization can provide representation and want link information; then members are asked to email the General Secretary  in advance and we can send details as soon as they are available.

Richard Kilgour. General Secretary

MPHRP to continue Humanitarian Response

Maritime Piracy logoICMA welcomes the continuing commitment of all concerned in organising for the humanitarian response to the impact of piracy around the oceans of the world. From August 4th. in the UK – the boards of the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) are pleased to announce the moving of the activities of the MPHRP into ISWAN. A transfer agreement was signed by both parties on 3 August 2015. ISWAN will now be responsible for all the activities of the highly respected MPHRP.iswan

In the PRESS RELEASE this week  Roger Harris of ISWAN said ‘The move to ISWAN will enable the programme to develop under the auspices of a well-established international seafarers’ welfare organisation that is registered as a charity’.

ISWAN told us this week that ‘the programme will continue to support the seafarers and their families who are affected by piracy. While piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia have significantly decreased, attacks are on the increase in South East Asia and continuing in the Gulf of Guinea. The MPHRP programme will concentrate on these areas while still supporting seafarers who were held for years in Somalia. The programme will seek to develop constructive and positive relationships with existing and new industry partners.’

ISWAN has already appointed a new programme manager, Mr Tom Holmer, to lead the MPHRP in this new phase of its development. The programme in South Asia will continue while an immediate priority will be to secure funding to continue the programme in South East Asia and Eastern Europe.

Richard Kilgour: ICMA General Secretary said ‘the need for the humanitarian response to piracy is as vital as ever. We welcome this development in securing a base for MPHRP to continue to build upon this important work’.

Winners of the 2015 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards Announced

The winners of the 2015 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards were announced on Tuesday 9th June during a high profile ceremony hosted by Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, Mr Koji Sekimizu at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

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The winners are:
• Judges Special Award : Rev’d Ken Peters, Mission to Seafarers Director of Justice and Public Affairs
• Judges’ Posthumous Award: Mr Paul Karras, founder of Hunterlink Recovery Services
• Shipping Company of the Year: Eidesvik
• Port of the Year: Port of Halifax, Canada
• Seafarer Centre of the Year: Seafarers’ Centre Bremerhaven
• Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award (organisation): National Union of Seafarers of India
• Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award (individual): Chirag Bahri (MPHRP)

The Welfare Personality of the Year Award is named after Dr Dierk Lindemann who sadly passed away on 17 March 2014. Dr Lindemann served as the Shipowner’s Group spokesperson at the ILO and took a lead role in getting the Maritime Labour Convention adopted.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees!

For more information and photos, check out the ISWAN website.

AGM & Consultative Forum Dates Announced

The 2014 Annual General Meeting and Consultative Forum will be held in Copenhagen Denmark. The dates are 19-20 September 2014. Participants will have opportunity to tour the Maritime Museum of Denmark in Helsingor, where the AGM meeting will be held. A Preliminary Schedule will begin at 1000 on 18 September with the Executive Committee meeting. AGM members are asked to arrive for lunch on 19 September. The AGM meeting will be held 20 September a the Maritime Museum. Registration information and materials are being sent to existing member contacts. Email if you need more information.

Stuart Rivers takes office at Sailors Society

The Sailors’ Society’s new Chief Executive Officer has assumed the role at the Society’s Southampton office in the United Kingdom on April 1st 2013.  Stuart R Rivers succeeds Robert N Adams in the role.

In a letter announcing his appointment, the Sailors’ Society wrote that Rivers has extensive experience in the international mobile communications sector, having been Strategic, and later Global, Business Director of Ericsson.

In 2002 Rivers left the communications industry and entered into full time Christian ministry for the Salvation Army.  He has since worked for BP, was Executiive Director of Enterprise at the Bible Society, has worked with the International Social Justice Commission and has contributed to Theos, the ecumenical public advocacy “think tank”.

Rivers holds post-graduate diplomas in Theology and in Marketing.

Ross Sinclair, Chair of the trustees of Sailors’ Society, said:


“Stuart posseses a most unusual blend of skills and business experience spanning commercial management, technology and charity fundraising fused with a deep practical understanding of ministry, social justice and pastoral welfare.”


The International Christian Maritime Association congratulates Stuart Rivers upon assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer at this valued founder member of our Association.  ICMA looks forward to continuing its close collaboration with the Sailors’ Society and its Chief Executive Officer who has in the recent past also assumed the role of ICMA’s Treasurer.

Initially, up to and including ICMA’s Annual Genreral Meeting in Bucharest later this year, Robert Adams will continue to represent the Sailors Society on ICMA’s Executive Committee.  Robert has a crucial role in ICMA’s strategic review and has elected to assist the Association to conclude the process before he retires from ICMA.  Sailors Society’s commitment to ICMA is highly appreciated by the membership.

Warning: scammer preys on ICMA

The scammer targeting International Christian Maritime Association personnel has had some success in convincing several of you to send money.  Please protect your chaplains and centres by warning them.

Chaplains who are unaware of how International Christian Maritime Association’s internal procedures for transferring funds might work, are the most vulnerable.  Several of them have regretfully been caught and have lost much money.   As before, International Christian Maritime Association would urge you to please tell all your international contacts of the scam.  This fraudster is very shrewd, has much insider information and does not hesitate to call by phone to back up his claims.  He seems believable.

PLEASE DO NOT send any money to anyone before you have not confirmed with the Secretariat.

International Christian Maritime Association regrets that there is no way to stop this scam other than making every effort to warn you. It is despicable that he targets unsuspecting victims who by virtue of our fellowship in faith are keen to support one another in distress.

Most recent development

The scammer has now started to target shipping companies and other contacts of ICMA in the maritime industry.  ICMA apologises to all its contacts and partners for the inconvenience. Please proceed with utmost caution, and do not send any money.

A new team leads ICMA Region

Father Oleksandr Smerechynskyy, Apostleship of the Sea chaplain in Odessa, was elected as the new Regional Coordinator for the ICMA Black Sea, Mediterranean and Middle East Region. 

Father Oleksandr Smerechynskyy and Hennie la Grange

The Region met in Odessa, Ukraine.  Oleksandr is based in Odessa and operates from a small seafarers’ centre just outside the port gates.  He shares his centre and works as a close team with colleague Rostyslav Inzhestoykov of the Mission to Seafarers.  Together these two dedicated port chaplains did a magnificent job in staging a hugely successful regional conference.  The organisation was flawless and every request for assistance was met with a smile.  The outspoken aim was that everyone should have a relaxed conference, and that aim certainly achieved.  The accommodation was first class, the meals were scrumptious, especially the traditional Ukrainian cafe-style banquet and the closing gala buffet.  The conference highlighted the wonderful hospitality of the Ukrainian people.  The speakers were clearly specialists in their field, and the chaplains eagerly participated in discussions.  The organising team deserve our gratitude and congratulations on a job very well done.

What struck me was the committed dedication and unfailing enthusiasm of the region’s chaplains.  Almost all these chaplains face very difficult odds, yet their determination to succeed in their chosen ministries to seafarers was a credit to their faith.  They love passionately what they do, caring for both seafarers and the maritime families who live locally.  They are driven by faith that leads them to care unconditionally for all seafarers.

This regional conference was an inspiration.  I commend these men and women to seafarers.

With the election of  Father Oleksandr, Ricardo Rodriguez-Martos of Barcelona, a stalwart of the region’s ecumenical work, bows out as regional coordinator.  It is fair to say that Ricardo has set the bar high for all our regional coordinators.  Ricardo has done exceptional work for this Association. He has maintained close contact with all the chaplains in his region, and has come out in support of chaplaincy and ecumenical working as the core of ICMA’s existence.  His region’s contact details are up to date, and he kept every port chaplain abreast of ICMA’s communications, adding to the Secretariat’s letters to chaplains a regular regional bulletin.  The International Christian Maritime Association thanks Ricardo, one of the characters of this ministry, for his services to our Association.

In closing the conference, we prayed together for God’s blessing of the care to seafarers given by these men and women of the Black Sea, Mediterranean and Middle East Region.  May these ICMA personnel be especially blessed, their vocational commitment strengthened and their relationships cemented in faith, that they may overcome the many obstacles that they face.

Ex-seafarer models new centre on ICMA

A general view of Aliaga scrapyard in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, June 18, 2012. Aliaga is Turkey’s only ship-breaking yard where 21 Turkish companies operate to break down decommissioned ships for recycling. Picture taken June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

The first seafarers’ centre in Aliaga in Turkey’s port city of Izmir, opens today, Monday 21st January 2013.  The Pollen Seafarers Center is an initiative of ex-seafarer Captain Onur Hurmuzlu.   The Pollen Seafarers Center is modelled on Captain Hurmuzlu’s experience of ICMA members’ centres.  

However, there is little understanding in the region of seafarers’ centres like ours. Hurmuzlu says:

“Seafarers centers closest to us are seafarers’ centers located in Russia . These places are not like ICMA  seafarers’ centres.  Some of the agents cannot understand my intentions, because they don’t know what is the meaning of seafarers centers.”

He says seafarers’ centres are wrongly associated locally with profit-making clubs and prostitution.  But, in spite of limited local understanding for ICMA’s concept of centres that care for the welfare of seafarers, Captain Onur Humuzlu says he has been able to strike up good relations with the port and ships’ agents.

The Pollen Seafarers’ Center will offer the following services to seafarers:  Continue reading Ex-seafarer models new centre on ICMA

ICMA personnel honoured for excellence

The 2012 ICSW Seafarers Welfare Awards ceremony was a glittering event befitting the excellence displayed by the awards’ recipients.  

The awards were presented in the General Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation’s Headquarters in London, followed by a reception in the delegates’ lounge.

The ICSW Seafarers Welfare Awards highlight the need for welfare services to seafarers and celebrates the individuals and organisations who excell in delivering services of outstanding quality.  In presentations to the IMO, both the Chair of ICMA, Douglas B. Stevenson, and the Secretary General of the IMO, Koji Sekimizu, pointed out the need for advocacy for seafarers’ welfare to be provided beyond the minimum standards set out in the MLC 2006, and applauded the recognition given to those providers of welfare who have achieved this goal.  It is hoped that these winners will inspire others to follow suit.

ICMA centres and personnel were among those recipients singled out by being awarded and shortlisted.

From left: Reverend Dennis Claughton, MtS Fremantle, Australia who shared the Personality Award with Father Giacomo Martino from AoS Italy, with Koji Sekimizu,Secretary General of the IMO.
Middle: Lesley Warrick accepted the Seafarers Centre Award on behalf of Seafarers House Port Everglades, USA.
Top: Thomas Reinold, on behalf of shortlisted Centre, Welcome, Bremerhaven
Bottom: Pastor Joseph Chacko from Kandla Centre (shortlisted)

ICMA values the commitment and efforts of its members’ personnel to serve seafarers, especially so in times like these when resources are diminishing.  ICMA’s ability to provide the services envisaged by Title 4, MLC2006, and to excel in doing so, is recognised and appreciated.  Congratulations to the winners.  You inspire us all!


The full list of winners of the 2012 ICSW Seafarers Welfare Awards:

  • Shipping Company of the Year: Shell Shipping
  • Port of the Year: Port of Kandla, India
  • Seafarer Centre of the Year: Seafarers’ House, Port Everglades, USA
  • Drop-In Centre of the Year: International Drop-In Centre for Seafarers, Keppel Terminal, Port of Singapore
  • Welfare Personality of the Year: Fr Giacomo Martino, Apostleship of the Sea, Italy and Rev Denis Claughton, Flying Angel Club, Fremantle, Australia