The Mission to Seafarers’ latest Seafarer Happiness Index survey shows growing levels of stress and unease amongst the seafaring community due to the COVID-19 crisis, the maritime charity reported Wednesday.
“We are in the midst of a welfare crisis. While Q1 showed us how seafarers suffered as COVID-19 struck home and provided insight into the support that was needed, the Q2 report highlights the cost of inaction and the need for immediate solutions,” said Steven Jones, the founder of the index.
According to the report, many vessels are now sailing with fewer crew, and those that remain have an increased workload to maintain extra-high hygiene standards. At the same time, they must also try to maintain social distancing measures in the close environs of a ship at sea – measures that interfere with normal social contact and interaction with crewmates.
“Seafarers have reported feeling unsupported and stressed, and without respite, which is impacting work standards as well as the welfare of seafarers,” the Mission to Seafarers said.
The report also suggests that many seafarers have inadequate access to communication services, leaving them unable to stay in touch with their family and friends on shore in challenging times. In addition, some report that they have little communication from their employers, leaving them in doubt about their future.
“Never has the statement ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ had more meaning than in the crew crisis. No bonus or extra pay can resolve the anguish, mental stress and problems being faced by the crew today,”
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