Seafarers Have Safety Concerns

Safety is an ever-present part of life at sea, and it has to be given top priority constantly. However, it was interesting to note that a number of respondents to the Seafarers Happiness Index stated that they were often frustrated by the stupidity of others, and the lack of “seamanship” that some in the industry now display.

Across a number of responses, seafarers spoke of “stupid accidents”, or repeated problems. They also talked of crew being given instructions which actually put them in danger.


One stated that his vessel needed to change its name before going into port, and so the crew were sent over the side on a bosun’s chair to paint over the old name and put the new one on. This he said, was dangerous and no-one wanted to do it – but they were forced to do so.

This is worrying and perhaps the worst illustration of where safety can be ignored and where power can be abused. There were other examples from seafarers who felt that some of their shipmates were accidents waiting to happen, and they blamed a lack of awareness and even poor training for the problems.

A senior officer reported that the standards of some junior crew members were poor, and that they lacked the basic knowledge to keep themselves and others safe. So, there are some issues surrounding the dilution of skills, and the fact that experienced seafarers are having to work hard to ensure the safety of those onboard.


There were also concerns and criticisms about some of the management systems which seafarers have to use onboard. Comments suggest that all too often seafarers feel that plans are not fit for purpose or are generic and do not adequately reflect the vessel or even the cargoes being carried. This also applied to security, and despite being certified there were seafarers who doubted that their vessel had the right tools, resources and training to adequately achieve what was set out on paper.


#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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