The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) announced that its global “Port of the Year” award in 2016 goes to Bremerhaven. This award has nothing to do with throughput figures or efficiency, but considers solely the welfare of those who have to work under the particularly challenging circumstances at sea.
“The seafarers’ welfare is a prime concern for many people involved in the port business,” says Werner Gerke, Port Chaplin in Bremerhaven. 25,000 seafarers at the Seamen’s Club ‘Welcome’, 6,816 overnight stays and 14,984 daytime visitors to the Seamen’s Home, 1,270 visits on board the ships, 1,136 Christmas parcels – these figures describe the work of the Mission to Seafarers and its Chaplin Gerke. They do not include the counselling sessions in times of crisis, visits to seafarers in hospital, pastoral care in religious matters and guided tours for groups of visitors who wish to learn more about work at the port.
Robert Howe, Managing Director of bremenports, accepted the prize in Manila on behalf of the port.