Alex*, an ex-Merchant Navy and Royal Navy seafarer, had been out of work for several months and was finding it difficult to pay his bills.

He began considering returning to the Merchant Navy but to find employment, he needed to complete a course, taught in the Netherlands, to update his qualifications.

Being out of work, Alex couldn’t afford the cost of the flights or accommodation and didn’t know what to do. Seafarers Advice and Information Line, supported by The Seafarers’ Charity, was able to offer him advice and helped to apply for charitable funding to cover the costs of the course.

The application was successful and Alex completed the training which lasted several days and covered areas such as: survival techniques, fire safety and fighting, first aid, and general work safety.

'I’m back at sea working on fishery protection vessels in the Falklands. Thanks to the help I received, I was able to complete the course and was then lucky enough to find a job very quickly as a result.'

Since finding work, Alex has decided to volunteer as a caseworker for SAIL himself to help support other seafarers in similar situations.

'I wouldn’t be working without the help I received. I just felt like I should give something back to help others in difficult circumstances.'

The Seafarers’ Charity provides significant funding for SAIL to enable the charity to offer round-the-clock advice for anyone who has ever worked at sea. When former or current seafarers like Alex reach out to SAIL, our grants enable them to support seafarers with free help and advice with benefits, pensions, grants, housing issues, relationship and family problems, and other money-related concerns.

*Name and photograph have been changed to protect the seafarer's identity.

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