Seafarers Dissatisfaction Will Potentially Lead To Long-Term Consequences

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  • Seafarer happiness has reached an all-time low, owing to the added stress of spending months at sea without seeing land.
  • The Standard Club is calling on governments around the world to designate the global seafaring workforce as vital workers in order to expedite crew changes and support crew travel logistics.
  • The Club is now encouraging the rest of the industry to put the welfare of seafarers first.

The 2021 Seafarers Happiness Index, released (26 January), shows that seafarer happiness has reached an all-time low, owing to the added stress of spending months at sea without seeing land as COVID limitations bite as reported by Standard Club.

Demoralised workforce

The detailed study is compiled quarterly by the welfare organisation Mission to Seafarers, with cooperation from Standard Club and ship manager Wallem, and is based on thousands of anonymous responses to ten essential questions. It portrays a demoralised workforce that is already dealing with high workloads and changeable circumstances aboard, as well as the pressures of a lack of shore time and perceived low pay.

“We are sleepwalking to a manning crisis,” warns Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at Standard Club. “Resentment is brewing amongst this critical workforce due to the lack of shore leave, uncertainty of trip duration, draconian COVID testing and general lack of recognition.”

Maritime community efforts

Seafarers are still not identified as critical workers, despite the international maritime community’s efforts over the last two years. The Standard Club, a signatory to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change, is calling on governments around the world to designate the global seafaring workforce as vital workers in order to expedite crew changes and support crew travel logistics.

Standard Club has been working with its members for the past two years, giving information as well as advocating and sharing best practice techniques to improve seafarer wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

Welfare of seafarers

The Club is now encouraging the rest of the industry to put the welfare of seafarers first. While shipping firms have little control over shore leave or travel limitations, living onboard is not, and it varies greatly across the industry.

The capacity to stay active and healthy, as well as the availability of decent internet connections, training, and protected rest hours, all correlate with seafarer satisfaction levels, according to the Seafarers Happiness Index survey.

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Source: Standard Club

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