Specifically, the app's launch is particularly timely as hundreds of thousands of seafarers began the new year separated from their families, with 400.000 currently working beyond their contracts, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
To better explain, the initiative has been created primarily to tackle the immense challenges facing seafarers brought into sharp focus by the coronavirus pandemic.
Even before Covid we recognised that something had to be done that delivered tangible results to help seafarers in the wilderness of the sea. The catalyst was an apparent suicide on a vessel sailing under our flag and we recognised that while there is support for seafarers in port, through the many brilliant chaplaincies and seafarer charities, the ‘weak link’ is support while at sea.
...Isle of Man Ship Registry director Cameron Mitchell said.
As the Flag State further noted, the app has been developed in partnership with Liverpool-based training company Tapiit Live.
At the moment, "Crew Matters" is available to around 10.000 seafarers sailing on more than 400 vessels under the Isle of Man flag.
What is more the app provides structured welfare support for the seafarer, ranging from a health and wellbeing self-help library that includes nutritional advice, through to Tapiit Live’s interactive support sessions.
Following the above, users will have access to a full month’s agenda of physical and mental wellbeing classes and educational trainings, including fitness and yoga sessions.
In addition, seafarers can also log their work and rest hours, and if they feel stressed or unwell there is a live SOS function which provides immediate access to the Seafarers Help Live Chat, which is free, confidential and available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.
Concluding, the app also tackles the problem of storing seafarer documentation in one place, as well as providing a link to trade union Nautilus with details of membership, news, careers, and jobs and training opportunities.
Ship owners want to find new better ways to help and protect seafarers, and want to embrace digital innovation. We hope this app will be a step forward for the industry and make a positive difference to many thousands of seafarers sailing under the Isle of Man flag.
...Cameron Mitchell stated.