While seafarers’ satisfaction seemed to increase in the pre-COVID period in several sections of everyday life onboard, limited internet connection remains a main area of concern. Even before the global lockdown, the SAFETY4SEA Crew Wellness Survey unveiled connectivity as the most prevalent demand across a total of 9,768 seafarers globally.
The US Navy recently launched a new program in order to advise sailors and their relatives of potential adversarial threats in the digital field. In fact, the program will focus on the cyber vulnerabilities, including adversaries’ ability to target and track individual sailors on social media.
Seafarers onboard ships entering Australian ports, will from now on experience a new initiative called “Seafarer Connect”. Specifically, the system will offer free WiFi signal and internet access to every seafarer visiting Australia. For the records, the initiative was first launched in Sydney, during a meeting of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
15% of deaths at sea are by suicide. The key question to ask when shocking tragedies onboard come to light is this: do they signify social isolation? And, what leads to seafarers’ social isolation? Recent SAFETY4SEA Poll finds that seafarers want their work to be less stressful. Increased workload and the subsequent fatigue were reported the biggest obstacles for social life onboard gathering 38% of our readers’ votes, surpassing other “barriers” like isolation from family (10%), connectivity (19%); bureaucracy (17%) and team bonding (16%).
Connectivity is becoming a significant factor in recruitment, particularly for those entering the industry. Young people who have grown up taking connectivity so granted consider the ability to get online a significant deciding factor for a career at sea, the report ‘Navigating everyday connectivities at sea’ says.
On the Day of the Seafarer 2018, Inmarsat published a new crew connectivity report revealing the impact on seafarers of being away at sea for months at a time with little or no internet access. The report showed that even limited access to Wi-Fi helped reduce some of the emotional stresses related to separation from families.
The Mission to Seafarers has published the latest of its ongoing Seafarer Happiness Index reports, revealing a growing link between onboard connectivity and seafarer happiness levels. Overall Seafarers’ Happiness Index figures have shown a rise, and while it is obviously early days, it is positive to see growth across various key issues.
Over the last decade communication technology in commercial shipping has been steadily improving with the widespread adoption of VSAT solutions and HTS. Increasing reliability, bandwidth and reducing costs have brought vessels much closer to being floating branch offices than ever before, argues Mr. Jamie Jones , Head of Service, GTMaritime.
A recent report surveyed 6,000 seafarers, asking them questions regarding the new technologies and digitalization. The seafarers were called to answer questions regarding digital transformation with regard to the shipping industry. 92% of seafarers surveyed, said that Internet access strongly affects their decision on where to work.
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