100,000 Coronavirus masks to protect all seafarers in South Korea
The Federation of Korean Seafarers Union, FKSU, has received an emergency grant to help protect the lives of some 50,000 seafarers.
Launched by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust 6 weeks ago, the £1 million emergency fund was set up to support projects and organisations that are helping to alleviate hardship, stress and isolation of seafarers and their families during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The FKSU reports that with masks in South Korea out of stock due to the pandemic, seafarers on board were finding it difficult to buy masks for themselves, and in some cases shore workers meeting vessels entering South Korean ports from all over the world, including those handling cargo, were not wearing masks at all.
With the help of the emergency grant the union acted quickly to help contain the virus by distributing some 100,000 masks to seafarers aboard vessels in South Korean ports.
“The virus is seriously impacting all of us all over the world and we were really worried about the health of all our seafarers. With this grant we’ve been able to supply 100,000 masks to seafarers on all vessels, whether merchant, coastal, passenger, or fishing vessels. We strongly believe this seafarers’ welfare initiative is a practical way to combat the virus and ensure the safety of all onboard vessels.” said Chung, Tae Kil, FKSU President.
ITF Seafarers’ Trust director, Katie Higginbottom commented “We have acted quickly to provide the practical support seafarers need – this has been our mission for over two decades. I feel extremely proud to be supporting the FKSU that is providing life saving equipment to seafarers from around the world”.