Norwegian transport workers in surprise as Russian fishermen from trawler they were supplying donate NOK 5,000 for Ukraine aid
Emil Rollan had just finished delivering goods to a Russian trawler, when one of the crew put an envelope in his hand marked “Human help for the Ukraine”.
To his and his colleague’s surprise the envelope contained 5,000 kroner (€510/£420).
The 18-year-old has recently started as an apprentice in the company Tromsø Kranbilservice and was on one of his first assignments.
He had just delivered the goods to the Russian trawler which was at the quay in Tromsø and was about to finish the job when he was stopped by a fisherman from the boat and given the envelope.
“At first I did not understand anything and did not know if I should dare to accept the envelope,” says Emil Rollan to Kyst og Fjord after Nordlys had first written about the touching incident.
Rollan says that he asked what the Russian wanted and the fisherman said in poor English that Rollan had to send the contents to Ukraine – before he disappeared on board the boat again.
After being left with the envelope in his hand, he called a colleague to find out what to do. They agreed that he should open it. Then he almost got a shock. The envelope contained 5,000 kroner – which is a very large amount for Russian fishermen. Not least at a time when Russia is exposed to the most severe economic sanctions ever and Russian banks are literally excluded from the West.
Emil Rollan says he was almost completely shaken when he was counted over the amount, and immediately called the boss.
General manager of Tromsø Kranbilservice, Tobias Lorentzen, says that they conveyed the humanitarian gift immediately to the Transport Centre in Tromsø.
General manager Bård Ovesen at Transportsentralen says the gift affected them and has ensured that the money will be delivered into the right hands.
“We became a little thoughtful last night. These are fishermen in a very difficult situation, who are trying to live a normal life here. So, they hope some Norwegians can help them give this money,” he said.
Ovesen says the fishermen in Tromsø now have a very uncertain future, including financially. They are paid in rubles that have now plummeted in value. He says, “It is obvious that this is a very large amount for them.”