How Mission to Seafarers helps out sailors

MV Kachidoki chief engineer Edgar Mariano with Gladstone Mission to Seafarers volunteer driver Shirley Gent and manager Dennis Alexander. Picure: Allen Winter

All Edgar Mariano wanted to do when he arrived at Gladstone’s mission to seafarers on Monday was buy a SIM card for his mobile phone.

The 50-year-old chief engineer of MV Kachidoki wanted to make contact with his wife back at home in the Philippines.

He’s been at sea since the beginning of July, but he could be away from home for up to nine months.

Such is the life of an international merchant seaman.

While he is at the mission he is able to use the free wifi, which means he can Skype his wife.

“I miss my family. That is why I make calls as often as I can while I am in port.

“The mission is very useful for seafarers,” he said. “We would have great difficulty if it was not here.

“We don’t get this type of treatment at many ports around the world, so we value the help we receive here.”

Mr Mariano said many of the ports he travelled to did not have any such facilities, and therefore they have to either make their own way around a strange community or stay aboard the ship, where they have already spent many days.

Mr Mariana celebrated his 50th birthday while on the ocean heading for Gladstone.

He said he was lucky the conditions aboard his Japanese-owned ship were good.

“We are a full Filipino crew and we have a very harmonious relationship.”

Bulk carrier MV Kachidoki normally travels on regular routes between Japan and either Gladstone or Newcastle, collecting its load of coal and then returning to Japan.


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