Seafarers Feeling Lonely and Isolated

Feelings of isolation and loneliness are increasingly impacting seafarers. Living and working onboard a ship can have its positives, but where there is a lack of camaraderie, friendship and interaction then seafarers report feeling alone, homesick and depressed.

The impact on mental health of feeling these negative emotions is perhaps obvious and is a real problem for seafarers today.


Seafarers Happiness Index responses feature many comments about increasingly quick turnarounds in port, short voyages in and out of ports, and spikes in workload mean that there is never really any quality time to relax and get to know colleagues better.

There are also concerns that too many crew do tend to retreat behind closed cabin doors, and there is too little social cohesion onboard.

Seafarers know that the answers are aboard ship, but they want companies to do more to counter the isolation they may increasingly feel. While the seafarers who spoke out, want to have a social structure onboard which encourages interaction and which develops a sense of the shipboard team, and the friendships within it.

There were many responses about the importance of talking, not just to those onboard – but also to open up to staff and chaplains at the Missions or seafarers centres they visit. One commented, “I felt so lonely until I was able to talk to a chaplain…even telling him my feelings made me feel better”.


Those who spoke felt better, so seafarers said they wanted to do more to encourage their colleague to talk, and to develop ideas which can be presented to the company to make life better, and to ease the pain of loneliness and to lessen any sense of isolation.


#28Days #Seafarers #Shipping Also check out the Mission to Seafarers website to learn more that the charity does to address many of the issues raised across these challenges facing shipping.

The Seafarers Happiness Index needs the support of those at sea, and of the shipping industry. So if you would like to be a part of driving positive debate and change – complete the survey or share your thoughts with us.

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