According to the Seafarers Happiness Index, the majority of seafarers face the triple threat of poor quality, expensive, or non-existent connectivity.
Because seafarers want connectivity with home and friends, this issue is considered one of the most important, as it is considered vital to their happiness.
However, respondents felt that insufficient investment is being made to ensure ongoing, high speed, and quality connections.
For this reason, the United Nations suggested that access to the internet should be a basic right, rather than a luxury, and it was stressed time after time that seafarers do not have the same human rights as the rest of the population.
What is more, connectivity is an increasingly important factor for seafarers when choosing which shipping company to work for. In fact, seafarers said that online access influenced their decisions on whether to work for a particular company. There is also a strong seafarer network, and crew do share their experiences on which companies look after their connectivity needs.
In addition, responding to the latest Seafarers Happiness Index, seafarers have called for ship owners, operators and managers to have designated human resource management in place to address concerns and to reflect the growing appreciation and importance of seafarer mental health and wellbeing onboard.
This comes as the second quarterly report of 2018 sees seafarers experience an increase in happiness in relation to physical health opportunities and welfare facilities onboard, the Mission to Seafarers informed.
These figures represent a growing trend of the importance placed on the welfare of seafarers at sea, with seafarers requesting that ship owners and managers invest in a dedicated seafarer liaison officer, who would be responsible for ensuring seafarers’ welfare whilst at sea and at port.