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Fall 2016 VolumE 108/NumbEr 3 The Ripple Effect Let’s stay connected: “It’s just a drop
Fall 2016 VolumE 108/NumbEr 3 The Ripple Effect Let’s stay connected: “It’s just a drop

Fall 2016

Fall 2016 VolumE 108/NumbEr 3 The Ripple Effect Let’s stay connected: “It’s just a drop in

VolumE 108/NumbEr 3

The Ripple Effect

Let’s stay connected:

“It’s just a drop in the ocean”, we sometimes say, and often it can feel like our giving is just

always known the value of the smallest gesture. A simple conversation, a hand-shake, or a

shared meal. These are the actions that fill the days of our chaplains, and mean the world to

the mariners on the receiving end.


Think of it like a ripple effect—a “drop in the ocean” may start out small, but that drop generates

In this issue

ripples that reach much farther. And these days, the effect is amplified because our world is so

connected—the smallest thoughtful action can make a big difference. We all know this from

Director’s log

experience: a kind word, a smile, or a


caring act can turn our day around. This is

Remembering Chairman Emeritus George Benjamin

especially true during the holiday season,

Stanley H.

when despite the emphasis on thanksgiving

Young, Jr.

and good will, the pace of life can often get

by the Rev. David M. Rider, President and Executive Director


even more frenetic than ever. This year,


we at SCI encourage you to pause and take the time to give thanks for those you don’t know personally, but who have a positive impact on your life in ways you may not even realize.

In a few short weeks, we will gather with family and friends to reinforce all those special connections that make up our world. This year, let’s spare a thought for the workforce unable to do that: mariners. Yet these are the men and women who are very much responsible for making our holidays so enjoyable. A Thanksgiving table without delicious food, stores without gifts for our loved ones, and closets empty of the cozy clothing that makes winter more bearable: this would be our world without the mariners who work so hard to bring us our necessities (and our treats!)

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) mourns the loss of Chairman Emeritus George Benjamin, even as we celebrate his many contributions to SCI and the mariners we serve. George died on September 21 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, with wife Evelyn at his side. He served as an SCI Trustee from 1973 to 2009, including three years as Chairman of the Board.

wife Evelyn at his side. He served as an SCI Trustee from 1973 to 2009, including

What SCI

Chaplains Do





at Sea

George’s trustee years oversaw many critical expansions of SCI’s mission, including the construction of the Water Street facility, the relocation of our Centers for Maritime Education to Paducah and Houston, and a growing international focus to our commitment to seafarers’ rights.

El Faro



This edition of The Lookout is filled with ways to support those mariners: you can come alongside us by making a financial contribution on Giving Tuesday, attending one of our special events, knitting for our Christmas at Sea program, following us on social media, and even sharing this newsletter. Why not try ‘upcycling’ this fall! Pass on The Lookout to someone who knows nothing about the debt we all owe the maritime industry and what SCI does to support the mariners who keep it going.

Together we can make waves!

Douglas B. Stevenson Esq., SCI’s longest- serving employee and the Director of our Center for Seafarers’ Rights, recalled George fondly:

Founded in 1834, the

Institute is a voluntary,

ecumenical agency

“I remember when I was interviewed for the position of CSR Director by George Benjamin and some other board members over lunch at SCI. I was really grilled, and I didn’t get a chance to eat anything. Apparently I satisfied George and the others. George was really devoted to SCI and to its work with seafarers, especially their rights. Throughout his time as

affiliated with the

Episcopal Church that

provides pastoral care,

maritime education, and

legal and advocacy


continued on page 4

services for mariners.


Facebook/seamenschurch Twitter @seamenschurch

I that. How much impact does my gift have? The thing is, when it comes to SCI, we have

The Seamen’s Church Institute

Executive Director’s log

Dear Friends,

If you are part of our Facebook family, you’ll know that our banner urges us all to “See the Connection.” In my day-to-day work for the Institute, I often contemplate the intricate network of people who make up the maritime industry. The shipping agents and companies, the suppliers who employ them, the consumers who rely on the goods they transport, and of course the seafarers themselves who keep everything running. The connections go largely unnoticed all around us. Store shelves fully stocked, 18-wheelers with transport containers branded with shipping company logos passing us on the highway… Sometimes we even see the ships on the water, but do we think about the people aboard those huge vessels? Typically we don’t, until something out of the ordinary happens.

Last fall, the US-flagged cargo ship El Faro was lost with all 33 souls aboard. At the recent memorial service for its crew, I reflected that connections aren’t confined to commerce: every seafarer has loved ones—a parent, spouse, sibling, or child—whom they leave behind as they embark on each new voyage, and tragedies like the El Faro remind us that sometimes these mariners and their families pay a heavy price. I am proud to report how the maritime industry supported these personal connections, making significant contributions to the El Faro Relief Fund administered by SCI. On page 5 of this newsletter you can read a full report of what was a very moving ceremony.

In a more recent situation, the Hanjin Miami came into Port Newark after 19 days of drifting at sea while the legal intricacies of company bankruptcy were negotiated. Immediately, SCI chaplains and the Director of our Center for Seafarers’ Rights were ready to board the

vessel, assess the welfare of the crew, and provide phone cards so the seafarers could contact their families with ease. It was a moment in which I was proud to be a part of SCI: we provide such services for every vessel we

Packing Season for the Christmas at Sea program! read more on page 8

Packing Season for the Christmas at Sea program! read more on page 8

Packing Season for the Christmas at Sea program! read more on page 8

Shore leave Survey 2016

The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarers’ Rights conducted its fifteenth annual Seafarer Shore Leave Survey during the week of May 1–7, 2016. During the survey week, North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) member organizations and other port ministries in 29 United States ports visited 475 vessels at 203 terminals.

The vessels visited had 10,283 crewmembers on board representing approximately 55 nationalities. Chaplains reported that a total of 1,061 seafarers (10.3%) on 104 ships were denied shore leave. An overwhelming majority (81.6%) of these seafarers were denied shore leave because they did not have valid visas. Other reasons for denial of shore leave included seafarers remaining on their vessels in United States waters for more than 29 days (11.7%), seafarers who entered the United States on C-1 Transit Visas and were detained on board after joining the vessel (2.5%), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) restrictions (2%), and vessel operations (1.9%).

The entire report can be found on the SCI website at: http://seamenschurch.

SCI SUSTAINING SPONSORS © Fall 2016 Volume 108/Number 3 Published by The Seamen’s Church Institute
© Fall 2016 Volume 108/Number 3
Published by
The Seamen’s Church Institute
fax: 212-349-8342
Richard T. du Moulin
Chairman, Board of Trustees
The Rev. David M. Rider
President and Executive Director
Editor, Naomi Walker
Design & Production, Bliss Design
The Lookout is printed on recycled paper.

visit, taking each situation as it comes and responding to needs as we find them.

The El Faro tragedy and the arrival of Hanjin ships to Port Newark were two out- of-the-ordinary situations, but our responses are always borne out of our long-term service to mariners. At SCI, we always seek to come alongside the men and women who keep the maritime industry going. We aim to step up to the plate, to support them as they support us in so many ways through their work day by day, and we can only do this through your donations. I trust that you will continue to make possible our work for the men and women of America’s waterways and the international seafarers who visit our ports.

Yours faithfully,

seafarers who visit our ports. Yours faithfully, The Rev. David M. Rider President & Executive Director

The Rev. David M. Rider President & Executive Director

2 • The Seamen’s Church Institute

The lookout

Fall 2016

The Rev. Marjorie Lindstrom retires after 11 years as SCI Port Chaplain

The Rev. Marjorie (Marge) Lindstrom’s routine is a little different

Marjorie (Marge) Lindstrom’s routine is a little different Michael Nation appointed to USCG Advisory position The

Michael Nation appointed to USCG Advisory position

The Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, appointed SCI’s Houston-based Chaplain Michael C. Nation to the Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee (LMRWSAC) in August 2016. This team—pulled from various sectors of maritime commerce—meets twice annually to advise the United States Coast Guard on matters relating to topics dealing with navigation safety on the Lower Mississippi River.

Chaplain Nation applied for the special government employee position (an unremunerated post) in order to further aid and support the mariners served by SCI. Members of LMRWSAC share experience and expertise to help leadership in the Coast Guard keep waters safe for everyone.

Nation crisscrosses multiple points of the maritime industry. He provides full-time pastoral care and support to American merchant mariners and serves as the business relations manager for SCI’s maritime education programs. Last year, Nation logged personal engagement with close to 1,000 mariners in the Lower Mississippi River Region.

As a member of the LMRWSAC, Chaplain Nation seeks to improve the safety of mariners working on the Lower Mississippi River as well as to improve the quality of maritime education SCI provides. SCI’s over 180-year commitment to mariners offers a range of impartial, intimate perspectives on the maritime industry.

After completing ethics training required for the appointment, Chaplain Nation begins serving on the LMRWSAC in November 2016, continuing the regular vessel visits, captains’ meetings and emergency response calls he makes every day to American merchant mariners.

T than that of the average Episcopal priest. On top of her clerical

collar, she dons a fluorescent vest and tucks a hard hat under her

arm. Walking out of SCI’s International Seafarers’ Center in Port

Newark, NJ, an orange strobe light transforms her car into a high

visibility vehicle, suitable for driving through the busy and often

perilous port environment. But most people would not describe

what she does as “routine.”

“Once you’re on board ship, you respond to what you find there,” Marge explains. There is the business side of things to manage:

providing phone and sim cards, and even portable wifi hubs to crews anxious to contact friends and family. Other practical services include offering transportation for seafarers to nearby shopping malls so they can buy necessities and gifts for loved ones back home.

Moreover, Marge brings emotional and spiritual encouragement to every visit. “Perhaps a crewmember is worried about somebody at home and just wants to talk about it. Someone might want you to pray with them. Sometimes I’m invited to eat with them. Each day is different when your focus is on the people you serve,” says Marge. And being flexible is an absolute necessity for SCI chaplains. According to Marge, it is important not to board any ship with a pre-set agenda, but rather take cues from the mariners themselves. Her role is, in her words, a “ministry of presence.”

Starting her career as a Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant, Marge was soon called to ministry. Her father had been an SCI chaplain, and therefore it was no surprise when Marge found herself drawn to the port. She describes being an SCI chaplain as “working on the cutting edge… these are the open walls of church, and being able to minister and serve in this kind of environment can only be a positive thing.”

It isn’t always easy, and Marge has had to deal with her fair share of inclement weather, language barriers, and the ever-difficult task of comforting seafarers who have experienced the loss of

a crewmember.

The rewards, however, are great. Marge has loved the chance to meet people from all over the world, and some of her dearest

memories are of the hospitality shown to her by mariners. “I’ll miss that camaraderie—just being out there in the diversity of cultures.

It has fed my soul, and I will bring that with me wherever I go.”

As Marge sees it, being an SCI chaplain is an honor and a privilege. She says that the most valuable aspect of her work has been to make “the people on the fringes—and that’s what the seafarers are—visible. Giving them the dignity that they deserve as human beings so they’re not just a commodity on board ship. It has taught me a lot, and it will always be a part of me.”

SCI is grateful to Marge for her ministry over the past eleven years, and on behalf of the extended SCI family, we thank her.

On the other side of the world …

doing what SCI chaplains do every day

by the Rev. Kempton D. Baldridge, Chaplain

On July 29, 2016, I agreed to fly to a port in East Africa to support the crew of a ship after an intense but aborted attack by pirates in international waters earlier that day.

If this sounds like an unusual assignment for a river chaplain, it was. SCI likes to say its river chaplains “go wherever the waters flow,” but I’d bet this was the first time one of us needed three flights across nine time zones and 8,500 air miles each way to do so.

Beyond the distances involved, everything else about this mission was “out of the ordinary” as well, and presented me with new, strange or

unfamiliar circumstances. While I think

I managed to hold up my end, it’d be safe

to say wherever my “comfort zone” is, it is nowhere near the Gulf of Aden.

Three days into the trip, we stood on the pier for hours in 115°F heat and 96% humidity. As we waited stoically for a

tug crew to appear to ferry our group out to the ship at anchor offshore, I began

a mental list of what was so exceptional about this assignment:

The vessel was 10x the size of the largest towboat, with over 70 crewmembers (six times as many as an average towboat).

The crew came from five different countries, with the potential for linguistic and cultural barriers.

No one on the ship or at the company had any experience with chaplains.

No one on the ship or at the company had experience with

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) interventions.

No one on the ship or at the company had any experience with pirate attacks.

We were assigned a former UK military specialist for personal security (bodyguard) since Americans are among the prime targets of hostage-takers.

I was obliged to maintain a constant

state of hyper-vigilance to threats of kidnapping, theft and terrorism and submit a “Proof of Life” form before departing the U.S.

…The list could go on.

Looking out at the scores of ships passing through to the Indian Ocean or anchored offshore, it struck me how familiar waiting on the pier actually was for me—and, for that matter, every other SCI chaplain. And it also occurred to me that this particular mission—as unique as it was—was nevertheless exactly what SCI chaplains do and are trained to do day in and day out.

SCI chaplains visit mariners on their worst days, standing by them amidst

challenges and struggles in order to seek the best outcomes possible. Beginning in 2010, we began incorporating Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM),

a well-established, comprehensive and

multi-component crisis intervention system, into our crisis response protocols.

Utilizing CISM techniques—combined with our own training, education, experience and judgment—we assist

mariners coping

with traumatic

loss, stressful

events and

critical incidents.

And although

“pirate attack” is not specifically mentioned in any CISM materials

I know of, I boarded that ship

fully confident about employing CISM methods and resources to try to bring about the best outcome for this crew. It would involve a great deal of work with lots of active listening and almost no sleep, but I was extremely gratified by the results by the time we disembarked.

As we departed late the next day, a dozen or so members of this remarkable crew gathered to say goodbye. Several handed me the prayer books I had given them, asking me to sign my name and

a Bible verse on the inside cover. Still, others wanted me to pose for snapshots with them. These also were “firsts” for me.

The joviality was soon cut short by the Bosun announcing loudly that the tug wasn’t going to wait much longer. Grabbing my gear, I shook hands with as many of these new shipmates of mine as I could, “coining” them as I did so with an SCI chaplain’s coin. And I was aware my heart sank just a little—just as it does when I depart from a crew back home. But I left feeling both proud and grateful to be a small part of SCI’s tradition of meeting the unique needs of mariners in unique circumstances, “wherever the waters flow.”

Remembering Chairman Emeritus George Benjamin, continued from page 1

a Board Member and Chairman, George supported me and

encouraged me in expanding CSR’s work internationally. He saw that seafarers’ issues more often than not had solutions outside of New York. He gave me a photo of his flagpole at their Long Island home with the SCI flag proudly flying. He told me that he always flew the SCI flag there.”

Perhaps George’s most important SCI leadership test came with the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, just blocks away, on September 11, 2001. Within hours, SCI’s Water Street facility transformed into a first-responders’ respite center, with food pouring in from restaurants around

the region, rescuers napping in corners, and a 24-hour chapel holding our city in prayer. George, other trustees, SCI staff and volunteers rallied to provide food and solace for those who worked in harm’s way to get New York back on its feet.

On September 24, George was buried in a private ceremony at his beloved Shelter Island. SCI extends its condolences to Evelyn, daughter Nell and son-in-law Laurence O’Keefe, and his granddaughter, Persephone.

May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon him.


New developments in e-Learning at

SCI’s Center for Maritime Education

by Chaplain Michael C. Nation

There were exciting developments for the SCI Center for Maritime Education (CME) in October 2016, as Executive Director and President David M. Rider signed a contract with Consolidated Digital Publishing (CDP) allowing SCI to bring its online Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) program, also known as e-Learning, in-house for the first time.

Beginning Nov. 1, Lisa Nally joins SCI staff as an eLearning developer. Lisa comes to SCI having held a similar role at Kirby Inland Marine, and most recently at CDP. Lisa is continuing work on her Master’s degree in Digital Media Studies.

Nine barge companies—both large and small— currently train with SCI’s HSE program, bringing the online enrollment to over 1,800 mariners. The program is a natural complement to SCI’s mission to offer professional development to America’s merchant mariners, and consequently comes with the high standards and reputation earned by SCI’s maritime education program since 1899.

With the new program, students can train anytime, anywhere—whether aboard a vessel or ashore at home. Under $50 per user grants unlimited access for one year to an extensive library of courses. Mariners easily navigate the professionally narrated modules which CME has designed for low bandwidth usage, saving on costly Internet data plans. CME has several modules in production including “Safe Skiff-Handling,” and “Towboating 101”.

At the end of each module, learners undertake an assessment and—upon successful fulfillment of the requirements—receive a certificate of completion. Managers access users’ reports through a fully customizable Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS employed by SCI is the open source Moodle, used by many universities and public school systems across the country to deliver their online content. With SCI’s LMS, companies may also upload their own policies and documents linked to the courses.

Companies who already own an LMS can purchase content from SCI which CME staff can format for use on other systems. The content is easily customizable for individual companies, providing a rich learning experience for the mariner who “works with” his or her own company’s vessels and colleagues during training.

Contact Michael Nation via mnation@seamenschurch. org for more information and to request a current copy of the catalog outlining the courses offered.

El Faro memorial Dedication, Jacksonville, Fl

by the Rev. David M. Rider, SCI President and Executive Director

Saturday, October 1, 2016 marked the first anniversary of the tragic loss of 33 seafarers on the US-flagged cargo vessel El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin. To observe the occasion, two commemorations took place in Jacksonville, Florida, the ship’s home base during its weekly runs to Puerto Rico.

In the morning, the Seafarers’ International Union (SIU) hosted

a gathering of 400 family members of the crew, US Coast Guard

officers who served them during the fateful week, and local industry representatives. The USCG Captain of the Port recalled the painful transition when search efforts ceased, stating that he remembers every moment of that week and thinks daily of the bereaved families with whom he bonded during daily briefings. With pain still fresh, everyone suggested that a year seemed like a blink of the eye. Many guests wore custom-made t-shirts dedicated to their loved one’s memory. The SIU dedicated a memorial tribute and welcomed all guests to a union-hall lunch.

On Saturday afternoon, members of the crew’s extended family were invited to a memorial dedication at a massively refurbished and renamed El Faro Memorial at Dames Point Park. A string quartet played beautiful music as 250 guests arrived along the waterfront of the St. John’s River and under the majestic Dames Bridge. The CEO of TOTE, Anthony Chiarello, welcomed guests and I acted as Master of Ceremonies, introducing several speakers. The ceremony culminated in the Reading of the Names with a bell’s toll and

moment of silence. Befitting the poignant nature of the anniversary,

a talented10-year-old boy played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

Artist Chad Light shared how the details of the bronze lighthouse memorial—El Faro means “lighthouse” in Spanish—were fashioned by hand: these include the names of all the seafarers, and a beam which points southeast toward Puerto Rico. Eventually, a similar lighthouse will be installed in Puerto Rico, with its beam pointed toward Jacksonville.

Amid much hugging and sharing of stories, guests inspected the new memorial, took family photos and spoke with the artist. While the lighthouse provides the focal point and common witness for the site, 33 individually named bollards soon will be installed to honor each of the lost crew members. Appropriately, the site overlooks the active JAXPORT waterway, and we witnessed several ships passing by during our time at the park.

SCI has been honored to coordinate the El Faro Family Relief Fund over the past year, and has formed close bonds with families while we support them through this difficult time of transition. In December, SCI concludes the short-term support phase of the Fund and will disperse remaining funds early next year to so-called 529 college savings plans for surviving children, including a set of twins born just six months ago. Donors can contribute to this Fund through year-end by visiting the SCI website:

year-end by visiting the SCI website: The lookout Fall 2016 • 5

Grateful for the generosity of

Stanley H. Young, Jr.


Special Events Calendar

Giving Tuesday

November 29, 2016

Look out for us online, on our website and social media streams! Twitter @seamenschurch

Life is so fast-paced, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amidst all the cheer we’re inundated with gift-giving and food-buying. But let’s remember the reason we have so many products to choose from and produce to enjoy: seafarers. We ask that on Tuesday November 29 you stop, take a breath, and remember those who actually fill the shelves with holiday season goodies This year, SCI joins thousands of other non-profits who ask you to remember that after Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, a chance to give thanks and give back!

The 17th Annual River Bell Awards Luncheon

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Paducah McCracken County Convention and Expo Center Paducah, KY

2017 Honorees:

Mr. Tim Parker, ParkerTowing Company River Bell Award

Mr. Angus R. Cooper II, Cooper/T.Smith Corporation River Legend Award

Mr. Chad Pregracke, Living Lands& Waters Distinguished Service Award

The 40th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner

June 8, 2017

Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers New York, NY

The Return of SCI Mountain Challenge

by Jennifer Koenig Breen, Director of Development

It all started with two dollars in 1953. Stanley H. Young, Jr., 28 years old and two years out of his service in the U.S. Navy, gave the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) a gift of $2 (which, according to, is worth about $18 today). Not a huge gift, but one from the heart.

Eleven years later in 1964 Stanley made his second gift to the Institute, this time for the amount of $25. Thereafter, there were no more gaps in his giving. Stanley gave an annual gift to SCI for the next 49 years… never missing a single one. And in fact, the gifts grew as his career with IBM flourished.

Stanley’s time in the Navy had given him a taste for life on the water. Born in Brooklyn and raised in New York City, he was drafted and served from 1943–1946. He was awarded the American Theater Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, and a Victory Medal. He then re-enlisted and served our country from 1946–1951 leaving the Navy as a Yeoman First Class.

No one currently working at SCI ever met Stanley. He lived a quiet and extremely private life, shying away from events and public gatherings. Always thoughtful, he declined our invitations to events and meetings. Truly we wanted to thank him in person for his generous support of SCI, and celebrate his long-time connection with our organization.

Stanley died in New York City in 2014 and SCI was notified that he had made SCI a beneficiary of his estate along with two other organizations. As a result, this year we received a generous gift of $350,000. This impressive legacy gift will be put towards to the Future of Mariners Campaign which will ensure that SCI’s ability to meet and serve seafarers is never compromised. I think Stanley would be pleased. He understood how hard life on a vessel could be for the seafarer.

If you would like to join SCI as an annual donor or would like to discuss an estate gift, please contact Jennifer Koenig Breen, Director of Development, at (212) 349-9090 or


test of endurance inspired



September 28– October 1, 2017

Sunday River, Maine

On September 28, we announced the 365 day countdown to the 2017 SCI Mountain Challenge. Each working day, mariners push themselves in a race against time and nature to deliver the world’s commerce. At SCI’s biennial event next fall, we ask participants to join us in solidarity. Teams of competitors will take on harsh environments to test physical limits, racing up steep summits in a fight to the finish line.

The funds raised by participating teams strengthen SCI’s valuable support services to mariners. Although taking place on land, the SCI Mountain Challenge parallels many of the hardships mariners confront at sea: the elements (facing northern New England’s notoriously unpredictable weather), isolation (teams work self-sufficiently on the mountain race courses) and physically demanding work (participants ascend over 3,000 feet each day).

If you’re up for the challenge, contact us on vjahn@ to receive more information.

6 • The Seamen’s Church Institute

The lookout

Fall 2016

report from the Second International maritime Health Seminar, Panama City

by the Rev. David M. Rider, President & Executive Director

the Rev. David M. Rider, President & Executive Director On September 15–16, 2016, Douglas B. Stevenson,

On September 15–16, 2016, Douglas B. Stevenson, Esq., the Director of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarers’ Rights, and I made plenary presentations on SCI’s seafarer health initiatives at an International Maritime Health Seminar in Panama City, supported by the Panama Maritime Authority.

The meeting convened maritime medicine professionals—clinicians, public health officials, and academics— to consider the new Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) and its work to strengthen the impact of health and security at sea.

Doug Stevenson explored the history of seafarer medical regulation dating back thousands of years—with extant records from the 11th century—to protect seafarers’ key role in securing the transportation of goods around the

SCI’s fitness center, available to seafarers free of charge, provides another component of our seafarer wellness program.

I shared initial research insights from SCI’s collaboration with Yale School of Medicine and its highly regarded occupational health specialists. With SCI supporting Yale colleagues’ access to seafarers—for research interviews, not treatment—we are learning about medical and ethical dilemmas from the seafarer’s perspective. Our colleagues at Yale seek to identify unique working conditions, exposures and stressors that accompany life at sea. Seafarers work with

recently, SCI installed a HealthCENTEr Kiosk in our center at Port Newark that seafarers can use privately to obtain blood pressure checks, bmI calculations, and other health screens.

multi-month contracts on a 24/7 basis aboard ship; isolation from family; sporadic shore leave and respite from workmates; limited control over diet and exercise; and no presumption of medical privacy when illness or injury strikes at

sea. Once medical certificates are issued before deployment, continuity of care at sea for identified medical conditions becomes rare—out of sight, out of mind.

The International Maritime Health Association works hard to promote maritime medicine research—scanty to date—commending SCI and Yale for its unique partnership to benefit seafarers.

Taking a preconference fieldtrip, our group visited the Agua Clara Visitor Center at the Atlantic side of the new third lane of the Panama Canal that opened June 26, 2016, arguably transforming global commerce in major ways. When the Port Authority of NY & NJ completes rebuilding the Bayonne Bridge, SCI’s ship visitors and hospitality center will serve the world’s largest vessels and their seafarers that now transit through the Panama Canal.

world. Doug

reminded us

that seafarers



protection long before land-based workers: to this day, ship owners are required to render medical treatment to members of their crew for the duration of the seafarer’s service to the vessel to the point of maximum cure, whether their ailment is the result of an occupational incident or not.

The seminar focused on MLC, 2006’s impact, and Doug praised the Convention as the greatest achievement in maritime law in human history—no bias here, in spite of Doug’s active leadership in its gestation over many years. Topics covered included the differences between mandatory standards and advisory guidelines, the practical aspects of medical certificates, medical concerns about hours of work and fatigue, medical facilities and treatment aboard ship, access to medical care ashore, and rapidly emerging telemedicine at sea.





THE SE A M E N’S C HURCH INSTITUT E SCI The Seamen’s Church Institute 50

SCI The Seamen’s Church Institute

50 Broadway, Floor 26

New York, NY 10004

SCI CENTERS: Port Newark, Paducah, Houston


Ways to Give to SCI

Support the people who deliver the goods that make our modern way of life possible.



Many companies match employee donations to eligible nonprofits. Ask your employer about increasing the value of your gift to support mariners.

about increasing the value of your gift to support mariners. Donate online at . Use

Donate online at

Use the envelope in this edition of The Lookout or mail your check to The Seamen’s Church Institute, 50 Broadway, Floor 26, The Lookout or mail your check to The Seamen’s Church Institute, 50 Broadway, Floor 26, New York, NY 10004.

Call 212-349-9090 and make a contribution over the phone with your credit card. 212-349-9090 and make a contribution over the phone with your credit card.


SCI offers many ways volunteers can contribute to the work of the Institute. Call one of our centers or email volunteer@


Go to seam enschurch and click “like.” Follow @seamenschurch on Twi tter . Check out our seamenschurch and click “like.”
Follow to seam enschurch and click “like.” @seamenschurch on Twi tter . Check out our p @seamenschurch on Twitter.
Check out our and click “like.” Follow @seamenschurch on Twi tter . p hotos at photos/seamenschurch . photos at photos/seamenschurch.
And, watch videos from our work at on Twi tter . Check out our p hotos at photos/seamenschurch . channels/scitv . channels/scitv.

Remember SCI in your estate plans. Email legacygiving@ for more information.
Remember SCI in your estate
plans. Email legacygiving@ for more


In addition to handknit scarves and hats, SCI’s Christmastime gift to mariners includes items found at most ordinary supermarkets donated by people like you. To find out more, contact cas@ or visit our website.


SCI provides prominent recognition to its underwriters. Become a corporate sponsor and link your company’s philanthropy with North America’s largest and most comprehensive mariners’ service agency.

largest and most comprehensive mariners’ service agency. Packing Season for the Christmas at Sea program! by

Packing Season for the Christmas at Sea program!

by Paige Sato Program Manager, Christmas at Sea

It’s Packing Season at Christmas at Sea! While the knitters stitch and send in their hats and scarves all year round, packing season starts for us after Labor Day. From September through mid-December, various groups visit Port Newark creating ditty bags for seafarers in port.

Ditty bags consist of a pair of knits— usually a hat/scarf set—, plus some sample-sized toiletries, a handful of candies, and perhaps a deck of cards or puzzle book. The ditty bags may seem small, but they are well-appreciated, as this one captain writes:

Dear Volunteers, This is the Turkish flag vessel of master of Kaan Kalkavan. I send our greetings to you and your families from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We distributed your kind gifts to crew last night. We opened the packages and we were very happy in this moment. These small gifts are very big and bring great happiness for us who are working away from our countries and families. Hence we are so grateful and appreciative. I and my crew wish you a happy, healthy and peaceful new year for you and your families.

Best regards, Capt. Barış TÜRKMENOĞLU

Volunteer packers come from all over the tri-state area and represent all age groups: from 7 year old cub scouts to high school students, professionals involved in corporate social responsibility to senior women eager to see where their knits are going. The work goes quickly, and even the smallest group of three or four packers can easily put together 500 gifts in about an hour.

You too can help, even from afar! Christmas at Sea has created a dedicated collection box you can set out at your church or company to collect toiletries, candies, puzzle books or even knits! For more information, email