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Seafarers' Charity Stella Maris Expands European Network

Global seafarers’ charity Stella Maris has grown its network in Europe with the start of chaplaincy services in Denmark from January.

David Noval has been appointed as National Director of Stella Maris’ Danish operation.

David Noval at the Copenhagen port
David Noval

The launch comes at a time when welfare and wellbeing of seafarers are paramount amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and issues around crew change and mental wellbeing, says Martin Foley, Stella Maris European Regional Coordinator.

“Now more than ever we need to be present and visible to seafarers and fishers, and while faced with restrictions due to the health crisis, our work supporting them continues through ship gangway visits and the use of digital media. This ability to provide a personal, human touch remains fundamental to Stella Maris.” he said.

David says ship and port visiting have already begun in Copenhagen, and the plan this year is to establish teams of ship visitors covering other ports in the country.

“Within the next five years we want to have chaplains based in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Danish archipelago, including Greenland and the Faroe Islands,” he said.

Denmark is the fifth largest maritime nation, with a merchant fleet of 65 million gross tonnes. The country has more than 400 islands and a total coastline of over 7,000 kilometres. Up to 75 percent of all imports to Denmark arrives by sea.

David is a trained ambulance technician and firefighter. In recent years he worked as operation manager in a non-profit housing association and has worked in management and organisational development for 20 years, primarily in organisations with volunteers.

In Europe, Stella Maris has chaplaincy teams serving over 150 ports in 13 countries. Globally, the charity works in 326 ports in 56 countries and has over 1,000 chaplains and volunteers worldwide.

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