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March 2024


Seafaring Amidst Global Conflict

Since October, there have been over sixty attacks and hijackings of vessels in the Red Sea. Many of these vessels have been merchant cargo ships, crewed by seafarers from around the world who are otherwise unaffiliated with the current conflicts between Israel, Hamas, Iran, Yemen, and the United States, but remain targets and victims of this ongoing war.

Back in November, the crew of the Galaxy Leader were taken hostage by the Houthis. Four months later, they still remain captive. In early March, the MV Rubymar sank as a result of a Houthi missile strike, leaking fuel and its cargo of fertilizer into the Red Sea. Thankfully the crew was evacuated before the sinking. A few days later, a similar attack struck the True Confidence, killing three crewmembers and seriously injuring others. This event marked the first deaths from the current Red Sea crisis. 

We hold in our hearts all these seafarers who have lost their lives, suffered injuries, are in captivity, and have experienced trauma as a result of this current crisis. 

The crews we meet in Seattle are typically on shipping routes through the Pacific, and so they do not necesarily face the direct threats of attacks and piracy in the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden. But they are still concerned for their fellow mariners who are at risk in these regions. We continue to check in on the wellbeing of these crews, provide our support, and pray for peace.

Crew Camaraderie

In good times and hard times, seafarers are family. It is a joy to board a ship and find that the crew treats each other with brotherly (and sometimes sisterly) affection, looking out for one another and providing support and encouragement. Even though seafaring is such a difficult job, our interactions with seafarers are often filled with smiles and laughter.

The pictures below are all from this past month, and are just a small sample of the many encounters with seafarers we are grateful for.


Cruise Season Approaching - Volunteers Needed!

The 2024 cruise ship season begins at the end of April! We are looking for volunteers to help run our daily shuttle service which transports crewmembers from Pier 91 to downtown Seattle. There are two volunteer opportunities:

1. Cruise Shuttle Driver: This involves driving crewmembers downtown in a 15-passenger van. Shifts are from 8am - 2:30pm every day there is a ship in port (typically every day of the week except for Wednesdays). You can drive as often as twice a week, or just once a month as your schedule allows. Training and orientation are provided. To sign up as a 2024 volunteer driver, please fill out the following form:

2. Lot Coordinator: we are offering a new volunteer position this year. The Lot Coordinator will be stationed in the parking lot at Pier 91, and will welcome crewmembers and communicate with them about when the next shuttle is arriving. Please reach out to if you are interested in serving in this role!

Save the Date! We will be hosting two orientations in April for cruise ship volunteers.

  • Thursday, April 18 at 5pm

  • Saturday, April 20 at 10am

The first part of the orientation will be hosted at our Center on Harbor Island and will last approximately 45 minutes. This will be followed by an option to drive the shuttle route with us from Pier 91 to downtown (an additional 60 - 90 minutes depending on traffic).

Contact or call (206) 935-3439 to learn more.

Save the Date for GiveBIG 2024!


On May 7-8, the Seattle Seafarers Center will be participating in this annual fundraising campaign for nonprofits in the State of Washington.


Stay tuned for more details next month.

Thank you for your continued support!

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