Supporting Seafarers Marooned In South Florida

In late April Seafarers’ House was contacted by the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, D.C. to come to the assistance of a Filipino seafarer who was released from the hospital to a hotel room in Fort Lauderdale to recover from his illness. With his personal items, including clothes, left aboard his vessel, and still under the weather, unable to leave his hotel room, the seafarer asked the Embassy for aid in procuring clothing, snacks, toiletries and vitamins.  The Embassy quickly called upon Seafarers’ House to help the seafarer in his time of need.

Father Sandy and his wife Erika, as well as Father Peter Lin (Apostleship of the Sea, serving at Seafarers’ House), went to the seafarer’s hotel with clothing, toiletries, fruit, vitamins and personal care products.  Overcome with joy, the seafarer welcomed the team and asked for their blessing.  He explained that he had been hospitalized with COVID-19, and recently released.  Although the care team from his company was aware of his situation, they were overwhelmed with helping others in need, and our team was able to arrive first.  After offering a blessing and sharing a prayer, our team bid him farewell and left the hotel to tend to other seafarers.

The next day we received a call from another seafarer in the area who was also recovering in a hotel.  He had heard of our deliveries and prayers and asked if he could have the same.  Like the first seafarer, he was recovering from illness, but unable to leave his hotel.


In the last two weeks we have heard from more than 30 seafarers staying in local hotels. Some are recovering from illness and unable to leave their rooms. Others are under quarantine from COVID-19 exposure, while others have been removed from their vessels for other medical reasons. All lack transportation or the ability to go shopping for personal care products, vitamins, toiletries or snacks. Most do not have any personal items with them. Since our initial contact with the first seafarer, we have been in contact with the companies that employ these seafarers and offered our partnership as part of their shore side wellness and care teams for we are all in this together. These care teams are working around the clock, around the world, caring for the hundreds of thousands of seafarers who find themselves in limbo right now and we are proud to work alongside them.

Currently, Seafarers’ House is inundated with requests for personal care products, toiletries, vitamins, healthy snacks, laundry soap, and items of daily living. Our pastoral care team is visiting local hotels 2 -3 times a week to distribute items, pray with the seafarers and offer blessings. Some of these seafarers have not stepped out of their hotel rooms for more than two weeks and all are desperate for human interaction. They have requested, and we are working on plans to provide religious services to them while maintaining social distancing and CDC protocols. It may be that we have to hold services in a parking lot with seafarers participating from their hotel room windows!

We need your help to fill this immediate need for personal care products, toiletries, clothing, and vitamins for these seafarers marooned in Broward County.  We are their lifeline, we are their support, we are part of their care and wellness teams.  Will you join us?

  • $100  supplies our pastoral care team with personal protective gear such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for one week
  • $50 supplies one mariner with a week’s worth of vitamins, nutritional supplements, toiletries and personal care products
  • $25 provides healthy snacks, such as fruit, to recovering seafarers
  • $15 provides a SIM card to a marooned seafarer to call home

Click here to donate today.