GONZALEZ: SCI’s executive director is the Reverend David Rider
RIDER: We serve the spiritual and humanitarian needs of seafarers through worship, through practical support like connecting the family back home, occasional human rights violations, occasional illness or death””those types of crises ministries we’re involved with to ease the burden on seafarers.
GONZALEZ: SCI has been part of life on New York’s waterfront since its founding in 1834, when it soon established a floating dockside chapel. It was a time when sailors’ lives at sea could be brutal and their earnings while ashore quickly blown on booze and brothels.
RIDER: The average lifespan of a seafarer from the day he started was 12 years. The natural calamities at sea and disease in the nineteenth century and dangers ashore did not bode well for a typical seafarer.