Q2 2020: How Happy Are You About Welfare Facilities

  • 5.33 down from 5.55

With seafarers not being allowed ashore, the issue of welfare facilities became far more about the reception given to them in the ports they called at. The lowered numbers indicate that this has not been a good experience for many crews.

The sheer panic of lockdown in many countries has had a terrible knock on effect regarding the welcome, or otherwise, afforded to seafarers. While it is perhaps understandable that nations may not have been encouraging shore leave, the fact that vessels have been turned away in the case of many cruise ships have started to leave an indelible mark on crews.

While we may think in terms of seafarer centres as being the wellbeing provisions, there is actually far more to the way in which crew welfare is dealt with. In many places the lack of willingness to facilitate crew changes, to allow seafarers to go home or to come to do their work has been incredibly depressing and damaging.

In the first quarter of the year it was noted in the previous Happiness Index report that there was real sense of pride amongst seafarers that they were key to making sure that people were fed, fuelled and that trade kept moving. It has been very saddening to see that this sense of appreciation has evaporated as seafarers have been ignored or blatantly abused.

Seafarers have not been welcomed, they have not been allowed to access medical care or dentists, or whatever they have needed. When the push of the pandemic has come to shove, seafarers feel let down, and as hundreds of thousands struggle to get home, or back to work, then it is impossible to argue with that troubling assessment.

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