Seafarers’ welfare organisations are working to support crews during these challenging conditions, with many of them being stranded or afraid about their families and themselves.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the shipping industry in many ways, with seafarers being at the forefront. That is why, many welfare organizations are putting their best effort to help seafarers.
ISWAN has reported that is receiving increased volume of calls on SeafarerHelp from seafarers concerned about their own welfare, families and repatriation. Thus, recently, Dr. Kate Thompson, a counselling psychologist, provides information and guidance for seafarers, on board vessels and ashore, on how they can maintain their mental health.
In addition, Missions to seafarers created a Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2 million ($2.46 million), with grants being awarded immediately to delivery partners providing advice and support for individual seafarers affected by the coronavirus impacts. Also, they launched the online “Chat to a Chaplain” messenger service, providing remote support both for seafarers and their families wishing to speak to a chaplain during these unprecedented times.
Stella Maris additionally supports seafarers and fishers wherever possible with permission of port authorities and provides digital chaplaincy support.
Seafarers’ Hospital Society informed that seafarers experiencing financial difficulties can talk to SAIL for advice, and then apply to Nautilus hardship fund through the Society.
Trinity House are providing emergency funding for organisations it supports. The Trinity House Maritime Charity has set aside a significant portion of its grants budget for this growing welfare need.
Concluding, the Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) offers online courses to constituent members in mental health and remote workers health & safety, both presented by the British Safety Council.