People Still Need People Q3 2020

7.24 up from 7.04

There had been a downward trend in regard to interactions onboard, and it is pleasing to see a climb this time round. It was not especially clear from the written responses as to why there is a sense of positivity. However, there were comments about the sense of unity onboard, as seafarers were struggling through extended contracts together.

However, there was a real sense of frustration in many of the written responses we received. Where issues such as race, politics and bullying onboard were creating a poisonous atmosphere.

VIEW ON MANAGEMENT

There were some interesting points raised regarding the different views that shore management have versus those at sea today. One respondent spoke of being “fed up with being told by non-seafarers that interaction onboard is good for you”.

He went on to bemoan the fact that “ex-seafarers from 20 years ago remember when they were all the same nationality and alcohol was readily available onboard. They remember the good times and usually are positions ashore now where they cannot understand why people onboard just want to go back to their cabins and have time to themselves. I can go through a whole trip not having a proper conversation”. Which paints a rather depressing, yet honest picture of life at sea today.

Those who spoke positively said that times to have shared activities, even something as basic as mealtimes are vital to help maintain relationships. “The more we do together, the better for all” said one respondent.

However, masks onboard are a cause for concern. Whereas when workers ashore go home, they are able to interact without masks, onboard there is a sense that these are a constant and that is damaging conversation and engagement. Adding to the sense of disconnection and isolation.

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