Q1 2020: Ports In Lockdown

The latest Seafarers Happiness Report is a special focus on the impact of COVID-19 on seafarers. We did ask our usual set of questions…and here we find out the answer to the enquiry about…How happy with welfare facilities when you are ashore?

  • 5.55 up from 5.54

With most ports around the world in lockdown owing to COVID-19, and with crews having to stay onboard, then the issue of welfare provisions ashore has become something of a moot point. Seafarers have expressed their frustrations at not being able to access centres and services. It is hoped that as the global pandemic slows, then seafarer movement will once again be allowed, and crews will be back visiting centres and make good use of them.

In normal times, seafarers often depend on the ability to access seafarers’ clubs, hubs lounges or missions. The facilities are welcomed and clearly serve as an important resource and welcome break from the pressures of life onboard.

For those fortunate to be in a port with welfare provisions they spoke of being made to feel welcome and able to relax. Respondents were particularly pleased when there was free transportation, and especially free Wi-Fi. One comment stated, “seafarer’s missions all over the world are always a welcome sight to us”. Adding that it should be, “mandatory to have a seaman’s club in every port”.

There is of course a massive difference between the provisions provided between different ports and in different countries. Some seafarers reported never having seen welfare facilities on the trades and port calls they made, while others said they were excellent.

Where they are provided and can be accessed there was much praise for the work of those who run the facilities. It seems clear that seafarers very much appreciate and respect the work of those who try to make life better for those working at sea.

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