Slice of generosity for stranded crewmen
A PIZZA delivery from a Gladstone volunteer left 14 burly islander men onboard a foreign vessel almost in tears. The Fijian and Papua New Guinean crewmen were facing days stranded at the Gladstone port with just rice and tinned fruit.
The crewmen are on the Kiunga Chief ship, which had an engine failure on Monday as they sailed past Gladstone.
They managed to safely travel at two knots to Auckland Point wharf two. Mission to Seafarers chaplain Russell Cunningham said they were living in tough conditions, with "inadequate food" to last the week.
On Thursday the group's volunteers made a plea online for food donations.
And that night Mr Cunningham dropped off pizza, cheesy bread and coke to the workers. "Some of them had tears in their eyes," he said. "They get excited by a bag of apples so this was like a party."
The ship is expected to be in port until the motor is fixed; which could take weeks.
Mr Cunningham said: "They're not the type of people to ask or speak out because they don't have that sort of freedom, so it's (the Mission to Seafarers) job to rectify these issues without causing injury to the people on board."
"I want them to want to come back to Gladstone and feel good about their time here," he said. Three more bagfuls of food were delivered yesterday, including fresh fruit.
The Mission to Seafarers Gladstone will celebrate the organisation's 160th birthday. Email admin@gladstonemts@ bigpond.com to attend.