Seafarers get grant for big, barely used van



Port of Vancouver — Since 2008, when new Homeland Security rules kicked in for American ports, seafarers landing at the Port of Vancouver USA “cannot even step on the ship’s gangway” without a federally approved escort, according to the latest newsletter of the Fort Vancouver Seafarers Center. The only legal way for visiting ship crews to step onto land and explore the community — and the hospitality of the Seafarers Center — is via official transport. But one van was totalled and another wasn’t up to the job, so the FVSC obtained a grant from the International Transport Workers Federation Seafarers Trust, based in London, for a barely used van. It bought a 2011 Ford 350 with 26,000 miles and room for 15 people. Now the group has two vans — one for ship-to-center runs and one for leaving the port.