How happy about access to shore leave?

Shoreleave satisfaction fell in the latest Seafarers Happiness figures to 6.16 out of 10…down from 6.54

Time constraints, workload and even commercial pressures are further eroding the access and opportunities for seafarers to access shore leave. There seems to be disrespect from employers demanding more, while even onboard colleagues do not seemingly like to see others get ashore.

One seafarer said it was now standard procedure on his tanker for shore leave to banned during normal working, only during dry docking and refits were crew allowed off. Which is deeply concerning, as it goes against both the letter and spirit of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006). It is to be hoped that such situations are not becoming the norm.

Resentment is building, and this further eats away the very concept of shore leave. Respondents repeatedly spoke of the extended periods between getting shore, 4 months and even 6 months were mentioned.

The combination of isolated port infrastructure, and rapid turnarounds, means that stays alongside are too short to get the distances needed to go and enjoy time away from the vessel. All this compounded by the noise and activity onboard, which actually even makes catching up on rest difficult.

Those who do get ashore produce markedly higher happiness index responses, and they speak of their enjoyment and appreciation at getting time away to clear their heads and recharge. Shore leave is clearly still a vital component of wellbeing and mental health.

For the full picture on Seafarers Happiness, see https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q1_2019.pdf

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