How happy about contact with family when at sea? Q4 2020

  • 6.90 up from 6.55

The issues surrounding connectivity always bring out vociferous responses from seafarers. Usually, these are negative, but this time around the data rose, and so too did the tone of responses.

Where we usually have responses which are frustrated, and which cover the issue of a lack of Wi-Fi or poor-quality at high cost. This time round, many respondents spoke of the fact that their companies have stepped up and provided either better or cheaper service, or have given drastically improved free provisions to the vessel.

CONNECTIONS MATTER

While crew are trapped on vessels, and unsure of when they will be relieved this has made an enormous difference. For once we have seen seafarers listened to, and their needs considered. Something which is not always or often the case.

Quotes abound, such as “The one good thing that has happened since COVID is that our company has now improved satellite wi-fi, and we are able to access it free or at good prices. This is so important to me and really has made a difference”. This was a view that seemed to be repeated by many, and it is wonderful that many shipping companies have at least done something positive to make life better for seafarers. The companies may be struggling to get crew home, but they can bring home to the crew with good quality Wi-Fi. That is one massively important benefit which COVID appears to have brought to ships.

NEED TO BE IN TOUCH

Not all have been so lucky, and there were a number of seafarers who spoke of the misery, worry and concern about not being in touch with home. The crew who were unsure of how their families were coping, or who could only get in touch infrequently.

These are being doubly punished by COVID, where they cannot pay off and cannot feel connected with their family and loved ones.

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