New Wi-Fi network quay to seafarers keeping in touch with loved ones

October 31, 2014

Above: Wi-Fi launch (left to right): Captain Jerry Coleman-Harbour Master, Andrew Harston-ABP Director Short Sea Ports, Rose George-Author, James Cooper-ABP Chief Executive, David Thurston-Chairman Flexstowe & Haven Ports Seafarers Service.   

Seafarers at ABP Port of Ipswich are now able to contact their loved ones back home after a free Wi-Fi internet service was launched covering the port estate.

A joint project between charities the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB), Seafarers UK, the Felixstowe and Haven Ports Seafarers Service (FHPSS) and Associated British Ports has created a Wi-Fi network that allows crew to log on free from the comfort of their ships.

A launch ceremony on board the Thames sailing barge Victor on Eagle Wharf saw the service officially inaugurated by Rose George, author of the shipping book Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry that Brings You 90% of Everything.

The provision of the Wi-Fi Service has been enabled by grants of £10,000 from the MNWB and £5,000 from Seafarers UK, as well as £3,500 from the FHPSS. Captain Jerry Coleman, Harbour-Master at ABP Ipswich, along with his team has also played a vital role in delivering the service, which is hosted free of charge on the port estate.

Andrew Harston, ABP Director, Short Sea Ports, said: “We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who operate the vessels that keep this nation supplied. So we are really proud to be part of the team to deliver this vital service to crew visiting the port of Ipswich. It can be a lonely job working at sea and so this brings a little bit of home to people far from family and friends.”

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