The Christian charity, Sailors’ Society, has issued a statement following reports that the decapitated bodies of two Vietnamese seafarers have been found on Basilan Island in the Philippines. Sailors’ Society’s CEO, Stuart Rivers, commented, “This is devastating news and our thoughts are with the victims’ families and friends.Victims of piracy and kidnappings are exposed to violence and terror, which can have a devastating impact on them and their families for years to come.”
Hoang Thong and Hoang Va Hai were among six Vietnamese seafarers abducted by Abu Sayyaf pirates last November. A third escaped and was successfully rescued by Philippine soldiers.
Chaplains from the Sailors’ Society have previously supported seafarers and their families affected by the terrorist group. The international maritime charity has created a Crisis Response Network to support victims of trauma at sea. The network offers a 24-hour support service for those affected by piracy, kidnapping and natural disasters.
“By coming alongside these survivors and their families, we can work with other agencies to help them come to terms with what has happened, give them financial, practical and psychological support to help them pick up the pieces of their lives” Stuart Rivers said.
Sailors’ Society works internationally to provide practical, emotional and spiritual welfare support to the world’s 1.6m seafarers, regardless of background or faith. Sailors’ Society chaplains and ship visitors have a presence in 91 global ports, with wider projects and services covering 27 countries.