In line with this year’s Day of the Seafarer which focuses on gender equality, ISWAN attempts to tackle the common misconceptions still surrounding women working at sea. Although women form 39.3% of the global workforce, women seafarers constitute only 2% of the total number of seafarers worldwide.
Chirag Bahri, who today is ISWAN’s Regional Director, India and South Asia, was held captive by pirates in Somalian waters from May to December 2010, along with 21 fellow crewmembers of the chemical tanker, Marida Marguerite.
ISWAN announced that it is offering a new training course to provide management-level personnel on shore and on board ships with an introduction to mental health awareness. The course is also suitable for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of mental health at sea and how to support crew.
In 2018, ISWAN launched a campaign to alert the shipping industry on the issue of unregistered crewing agencies in India; Now, the Network presents the campaign’s results and what follows next. Yet, up to now, there are many unregistered crewing agencies operating in India, resulting to seafarers facing poor working conditions onboard and sea time, to unpaid wages and abandonment.
In its latest ‘Training onboard’ newsletter providing health tips for seafarers, ISWAN shared two reasons why going for a short walk around the ship or out on deck after eating a heavy meal could be beneficial to crew members onboard.
ISWAN, in partnership with InterManager, ICS, ICMA and ITF, issued a new booklet, entitled ‘Arrested and Detained Vessels, and Abandoned Seafarers’, providing guidance to welfare organisations dealing with incidents of seafarers being abandoned and vessels being arrested or detained.
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%).
With the increasing awareness of how important mental health is for seafarers, ISWAN says that more needs to be done to change the culture in shipping. This will create more openness and less stigma about mental health. According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders.
ISWAN, partnered with MHG Insurance Brokers to launch a new research on seafarers who work on superyachts to investigate welfare issues specific to the sector, backed up by in-depth interviews and diary studies. The research’s results were announced on December 7, at a seminar held at Inmarsat’s headquarters in London.
In an exclusive interview, Mr. Ray Barker, Head of Operations , ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network), explains why industry has increased its focus on seafarers’ mental health lately, referring to the major human and financial risks that could arise in case a seafarer had a mental health crisis while on duty
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