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Topaz gives generously to the Flying Angel

Topaz gives generously to the Flying Angel

Dubai: Topaz Energy and Marine yesterday announced its sponsorship of the Flying Angel project.

The Flying Angel is a 27m vessel owned and operated by the maritime charity "Mission to Seafarers". It's the first seafarers' support boat of its kind and operates in the world's third largest offshore anchorage, the Port of Fujairah. The duty of the Flying Angel is to provide the thousands of sailors who are stationed off the coast of Fujairah contact with the outside world after long periods of isolation at sea.

The Mission to Seafarers is a charitable organization committed to the well-being of seafarers around the world. Founded in England in 1856, and operating in the Gulf since 1962, the Mission is working to improve the quality of seafarers' lives, irrespective of colour, race, faith or belief.

In 2006 Reverend Stephen Miller, the founder of the project, had the vision, inspired by his experiences with mariners, to commission the construction of a purpose-built seafarer support vessel. This vessel could provide thousands of sailors who are at sea for months at a time with the basic amenities that most of us take for granted. In the often challenging lonely environment that is the sea, communication with loved ones is a blessing, making this project truly special. To build and launch this "guardian angel" of the sea the Reverend Miller had the daunting task of raising over 1 Million USD. Today the Flying Angel visits in excess of 5 vessels and welcomes over 75 seafarers on-board daily.

The Reverend Miller said in a statement, "I am very pleased that Topaz Energy and Marine has taken the initiative to sponsor the work of M/V Flying Angel. It is particularly pertinent given the global downturn that Topaz continues to place the welfare of seafarers at the top of their CSR program, giving a lead to the maritime industry with this important initiative. We are very pleased to welcome Topaz aboard."

Fazel A. Fazelbhoy, CEO of Topaz was quoted as saying, "We consider it an honor and a privilege to be able to give something back to the sea and the seafarers that have given us so much. In supporting the Flying Angel and the Mission to Seafarers, we hope to improve the quality of life for as many at sea as we can."

Under this very special sponsorship, Topaz Energy and Marine uses its considerable vessel management infrastructure to manage the entire vessel and is taking on board all running costs of the Flying Angel, which last year reached USD $380,000. In doing so, many thousands of mariners will continue to enjoy its basic comforts, as well as the opportunity to contact loved ones using the Flying Angel's satellite phones and Internet. They can also unwind by using library resources, the entertainment facilities or simply through conversation with fellow seafarers and the onboard Chaplain.

For the past two years the Flying Angel has been managed on a commercial basis by Inchcape Shipping Services. ISS has provided valuable services to the charity and the Mission to Seafarers has expressed its great appreciation to the company.  [08/10/09]