Issues of Shoreleave Remain

How happy about access to shore leave?

  • 5.59 down from 6.16

It is no surprise to anyone who has read previous Seafarers Happiness Index reports, the issue of shore leave and of getting time away from the vessel is one which has proven particularly problematic. This time around is no different, and the figures have taken a considerable fall.

Put very simply, seafarers are not happy with the barriers which face them when trying to have some much needed and deserved time away from the vessel. From the demands of work in port, to costs and immigration hurdles, through to the fact that they often feel too fatigued to even face leaving the ship. The problems are many, and despite new rules that ports are meant to abide by, it seems to be no easier to get ashore now than the past couple of years.

The reasons for wanting to get away from the vessel were laid out by a number of respondents. They stated that “Shore leave is always a stress buster”, but they added that it is so hard to get “good shore leave”, owing to terminal restrictions, additional surveys & inspections plus fears over alcohol policies. All have eroded the time-honoured practice.

While no-one would condone “enjoying” time ashore so much that a seafarer would be in breach of drug and alcohol policies, there should surely be a balancing act by which crew members are able to relax and recuperate.

Once again, the phrase used was the very concept of shore leave is “dead” – so perhaps we need to rethink an alternative. It is clear that seafarers do need a release from the pressures they face, and if that is not ashore, then what and how?

Access the latest report here: https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q4_2019.pdf

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