Lonely sailors on English Bay container ships get Christmas presents (PHOTOS)
Santa Claus ditched his sleigh and reindeer for a boat to make some very special deliveries in Vancouver harbour on Christmas Eve.
Seafarers, sailors who work on the cargo ships anchored in Burrard Inlet, received a very special surprise on Saturday when they were boarded by a small group of greeters and well-wishers from local marine transportation company Tymac and not-for-profit organization Mission to Seafarers.
They delivered care packages containing toques, socks, hygiene items, sweets, and unique Canadian souvenirs.
“There will be roughly 1000 wrapped presents (which are) made up of donations from churches such as the Anglican Church, Christian Reformed Church and Roman Catholic Church as well as various private donors,” Stephen Hnatko of Tymac told Daily Hive in advance last week.
The group began the expedition at 9 am and used two boats to deliver presents from ship to ship in English Bay. Nearly two dozen vessels received gifts by the end of the day.
Cargo ships operated by these seafarers, who work nine months straight with no real time off, are responsible for 90% of the goods that are sold to and owned by residents in Metro Vancouver.
More than a week ago, Tymac and Mission to Seafarers crews also visited seafarers stranded on the cargo ship Hanjin Scarlet in Victoria. Those on the ship have been stranded at sea since August due to Hanjin shipping line’s unresolved bankruptcy issue.