by Peter Boyton, Director of Volunteers
ISC and SGHS (Southeast Georgia Health System – the local hospital) began a penetrating collaboration at the beginning of June 2021. I escorted three personnel from the hospital, two medical staff and a marketing representative, onto the small bulk carrier, Miranda, at Logistec Marine Terminal. The owner of the ship, through the vessel’s shipping agent, requested that the crew receive the J & J single shot COVID vaccine. Thus began the latest adventure at International Seafarers Center.
Since then the nurses from SGHS have vaccinated the crews of 14 different ships. Only one adverse reaction took place with a crewman on a RoRo (roll-on, roll-off car ship) breaking out in a sweat and feeling nauseous, necessitating liquid and solid ingestion. A captain on one of the earliest ships we visited with the vaccine informed me that he tried at two ports up north to have his crew vaccinated; the first said they would do it for $3200 and the second port told him $4100! The captain decided to try Brunswick instead, where the jabs are always free.
One ship was having problems with its main ramp when we arrived at the dock. The medical staff had to make the perilous journey up the shaky steps to the small side door to get on board. They were not happy. Logistical problems plagued the collaboration at the beginning. Since then, things have moved smoothly with crewmembers lining up for vaccinations. Some declined the experience and disappeared quickly. Most smiled, cringed, and then posed for Post Traumatic Syringe Display (PTSD) photographs. The things that we at the International Seafarers Center will do for the crews of the visiting ships are amazing. Are you ready to sign up for an ultimate local adventure?