In an article in the Maritime Global Net news, Fujairah’s Flying Angel is reported to be growing wings:
The news item entitled ‘DUBAI SUPPORT BOAT'S FIRST YEAR’ gives the following account:
“The Flying Angel – the world’s first floating seafarers’ centre owned and operated by The Mission to Seafarers – has welcomed over 3,000 seafarers onboard since entering full-time service in the port of Fujairah, Dubai on 15 April last year.”
“The purpose-built support boat takes its name from the flying angel logo of The Mission to Seafarers, the international society that has been caring for seafarers for over 150 years.”
“The 27-metre vessel provides similar facilities to the Mission’s 100-plus land-based centres including a bank of computers, telephones, access to a chaplain for services and counselling, as well an additional service of a medical clinic with a full-time paramedic onboard.”
“‘We have had an excellent first year serving the seafarers who are at anchor miles away from the shore,’ said the Revd Stephen Miller, port chaplain to Dubai. ‘For the vast majority of seafarers waiting in the anchorage, the costs incurred for getting to shore are simply too great. Therefore we are able to provide a facility which allows seafarers the chance to relax away from their vessels without the need for costly water-taxi services. The boat also helps shipowners because staff return to their posts refreshed and refocused on their tasks.’”
“In the last 5 years the anchorage at Fujairah has become one of the largest in the world with over 100 vessels, or nearly 3,000 seafarers waiting at any one time. Ships wait at anchor for repair, visits by company superintendents, recrewing, reprovisioning and refuelling.”
“Since launching in April 2007, The Flying Angel has visited over 197 ships, connected nearly 4,500 telephone calls, provided over 2,300 hours of internet time and distributed nearly 3,000 books, magazines and other items of literature.”
“‘A lot of 2007 has seen us trying new things to see what benefits seafarers most,’ reflected Stephen on the year. ‘However, more and more seafarers tell us what a great help the Flying Angel has been to them and we hope to grow our services to reach even more seafarers in the years to come.’”
Source: ‘Dubai Supports Boat’s First Year’, Maritime Global Net, 15 April 2008.
Image: The Flying Angel—the world’s first seafarer’s centre.