Liverpool firm stages first live-streamed seafarers Mass

By Simon Hart

Tapiit Live, a Liverpool-based maritime training company, has staged the first-ever live-streamed Mass to seafarers aboard an offshore support vessel.

This ground-breaking Mass was celebrated by Father Paulo H Prigol, chaplain of ship-visiting network Stella Maris Manila, a Catholic charity which cares for seafarers and their families. While Fr Paulo said the mass in Manila, production of the filming was managed live by Tapiit’s team in Liverpool and the broadcast received by the vessel as it travelled eastwards from America.

The ‘Simbang Gabi’ Mass was part of a traditional nine-day series of Masses celebrated in the Philippines in anticipation of Christmas. Tapiit Live’s CEO, Richard Turner, said the live broadcast was made possible following a new deal that Tapiit struck with sat-comms provider Inmarsat in October. The deal gives Tapiit enough bandwidth to live-stream training and events to nearly 10,000 ships worldwide.

‘With seafarers under so much pressure we jumped at the chance to help,’ said Turner. ‘A huge number are Filipino as they make up around a quarter of the world's 1.2m merchant seafarers. Their Catholic faith is very important to them and it’s brilliant that we’re using this new partnership with Inmarsat to support them. This is the kind of positivity and innovation we wanted to create when we set up Tapiit Live. And to be able to link in the families to the Mass as well made it even more special.’

Tapiit are now speaking with various faith-backed seafarer charities keen to offer religious services to ships worldwide. ‘This is just the beginning,’ added Turner. ‘We feel live religious services could become very popular as there’s such a strong bond between faith and seafaring going back centuries. Many of the team here at Tapiit are former seafarers so it really matters to us that we help mariners combat the isolation of being away at sea, especially now.’

Tapiit Maritime was established by Turner, a former seafarer and managing director of Shell Ship Management, in 2019. It recently announced a package of mental-health courses for seafarers, which are the first to be live-streamed both onshore and offshore. For more details visit www.tapiitlive.com.