A WOMAN has set up a fundraising campaign to rescue 70 stranded sea slaves.
Alex Burch, 31, from Fareham, is bidding to rescue the men, who are currently stranded amongst several remote islands around Indonesia and New Guinea.
The rescue project is set to cost around £15,800 and in the space of less then two months Alex has already managed to raise just over £1,500 for it.
Alex is working with Labour Rights Promotion Network (LPN) who are preparing the rescue mission to find the stranded men.
She said: ‘I heard a story about a man who had jumped ship in Malaysia, and had been taken in by a family.
‘His story was that he had been drugged in a bar and woken up on a ship - forced to fish and endure abuse physically. It really affected me and I’ve heard there are thousands trapped in the fishing fleets now.’
I heard a story about a man who had jumped ship in Malaysia, and had been taken in by a family. His story was that he had been drugged in a bar and woken up on a ship - forced to fish and endure abuse physically. It really affected meAlex Burch
According to LPN, they have rescued over 250 sea slaves to date.
The money raised for the rescue will fund the hire of a boat, translators, food, clothing and medicine for the mission which could take place this September.
Alex added: ‘Most of the fishermen have jumped ship and are now stranded on islands, with no home, no papers, and no income, the reports that we have are that they are being forced to hunt in the forest to sustain themselves and hide from their slave boat captains.’
Alex decided to get involved after hearing about the ordeals the men suffered.
She said: ‘I got involved because I have a history of fundraising - I have always been involved in charity, either working for one or volunteering.
‘When I heard about the fact that they wanted to go to new islands and rescue men they have heard are stranded there, I knew I could help in some way.
‘I’m so touched when people donate to help someone they will never meet, but that the donation has a huge impact when joined up with other’s generosity.’
To donate to Alex’s fund, head to gofundme.com/294pecv4.