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Mission to Seafarers calls for urgent action to address lockup

SEAFARERS continue to face a bleak future in the face of the Covid pandemic, according to the Mission to Seafarers, a Christian charity, A mission survey reports on the experiences of seafarers between July and September 2020

01 November 2020 - 19:00

SEAFARERS continue to face a bleak future in the face of the Covid pandemic, according to the Mission to Seafarers, a Christian charity,

A mission survey reports on the experiences of seafarers between July and September 2020. This period saw the situation of the world's seafarers during Covid face an ongoing crew change crisis, but fell short of the response needed from the international shipping community.



Still, the average happiness levels are reported to increase from 6.18 to 6.35, compared to the previous quarter. However, there have been massive fluctuations in the case with earlier responses from seafarers being far more positive.



As the pandemic progressed, optimism was lost during the second wave of Covid.



Some reports show crews pulling together and growing a sense of unity while others are facing conflict onboard as they face pressure. The survey also shows some seafarers who feel that protective measures onboard risk threatening social union and heightening the sense of isolation.



The discovery also reports that the crew change crisis hasn't gone away. Seafarers are still reporting their anxiety and frustration as trips are extended beyond their timeframes while working 12 hours a day and seven days a week.



Some seafarers feel trapped between the restrictions placed on their access to shore leave and have fears of the exposure risks if they go ashore.



The survey also shows the growing impact on the welfare of seafarers who cannot join vessels and are facing financial trouble as a result most acutely felt in the cruise sector.



'All of us who care about our seafarers must act now and act faster to deliver the immediate support and relief that they need, along with a longer-term plan that meets the needs of those stranded ashore,' said Mission secretary general Andrew Wright.



'The Mission to Seafarers is doing all that we can through our global network of ship visitors and seafarer centres, including adapting our facilities to make them 'Covid-secure' and developing alternative solutions such as our online 'chat to a chaplain' service, but this crisis requires a global response from our industry leaders and national authorities.' said Mr Wright.


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