Sailors’ Society, one of the largest seafarer support charities operating worldwide, has developed a Smartphone app – Chapplaincy so as to enable the port chaplains and ship visitors to deliver effective care to the world’s 1.5 M seafarers.
Chapplaincy app is conceptualized and developed by the Augustea Group and sponsored by Sailors’ Society. This app will make the reporting on real-time activity basis, maintains a history of ship visits and provides support to seafarers. The data can then be accessed by chaplains in other ports to extend the facilitation of care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage. But at the same time, the data processing should take care of confidentiality and data protection policies. The newly launched app has access to global ship tracking data from MarineTraffic. This would enable chaplains to manage the vessels that are in port and those due to arrive. This system would result in an effective use of time and improved co-ordination with other welfare organisations.
Stuart Rivers, CEO, Sailors’ Society felt that Chapplaincy is an important enabler of its ‘Wellness at Sea’ programme, launched earlier this year. He said, “Chapplaincy revolutionises the way that our chaplains work with seafarers, allowing them to respond more quickly and follow up with seafarer’s friends and family even after the ship has sailed. With better communication, we hope to identify faster some of the issues that affect seafarers such as stress, poor mental health and fatigue and so reduce the risks in safety, as well as increasing efficiency and retention rates for shipowners.”
In the first phase of the project, the app is currently live and being utilized by Sailors’ Society chaplains and ship visitors across the world. In its second phase, the charity is planning to make it available to other welfare agencies so as to provide an even better level of support and care to seafarers. It is also planning to develop a version for seafarers so as to make contact in advance of arrival at the port in order to access welfare services.
Demitris Memos, managing director of MarineTraffic said: “We are delighted to be powering the Chapplaincy app with MarineTraffic data. Seafarers’ welfare should be a high priority for the maritime sector and data can undoubtedly better enable those who provide direct care. The ability that technology has given us to track ships at sea and in port increases transparency and efficiency, in this case with positive outcomes for seafarers’ welfare.”
This app is initially available for the Android operating system. It guides the user for the check-in, status update and statistical reports and many more. At the same time, it delivers the information regarding the location and status of the ship visitor to support staff and management, in the real-time basis. Additionally, it offers compiling narrative and accurate statistical data which is then stored for reporting and analysis.
Rivers said; “We are deeply grateful for the support we have received from Augustea in developing Chapplaincy and the technical input of MarineTraffic which helped to make this a true industry project. By gathering real-time information on the impact of our services, the App will also enable trend analysis of issues affecting seafarers which will inform our support provision and the industry at large.”