to face a bleak future in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the
latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, published Oct 26 2020 by The Mission
The survey reports
on the experiences of seafarers between July and September 2020. The average
Seafarers Happiness Index for this three-month period showed an increase in
happiness levels from 6.18 to 6.35, compared to the previous quarter. However,
this masks significant fluctuations between July and September. Early responses
from seafarers were far more positive, driven by rising hopes about the
re-opening of national borders and a solution to the crew change crisis.
The index is a measure of the incompetent leadership of world
governments; “life during COVID is hell”
the quarter progressed, this optimism was lost as the second wave of infections
put pay to the hopes for many of a return home or a return to work. This was
reflected in a decline in happiness levels, with the comment of one seafarer
that “life during COVID is hell” capturing the sentiment of many others.
A complex picture
emerges in looking at relationships on board during this quarter. There are
welcome reports of crew pulling together and a growing sense of unity in the
face of the unprecedented challenge they face.
Social distancing heightening sense of isolation
The survey also
reports some seafarers as feeling that protective measures onboard, including
wearing masks and social distancing, risk undermining social cohesion and
heightening the sense of isolation.
The findings of
the report make it clear that the crew change crisis has not gone away. On top
of this, some seafarers report feeling trapped between the restrictions placed
on their access to shore leave and fears of the exposure risks if they do go
Seafarers report a sense of being the forgotten victims of the crisis
The survey also
reveals the growing impact on the welfare of seafarers who cannot join vessels
and are facing severe financial consequences as a result, with careers
jeopardised and livelihoods lost. These seafarers have nowhere to turn and
report a sense of being the forgotten victims of the crisis. This issue appears
particularly acute among those who work in the cruise sector.
The survey is sponsored by the the Shipowners’ Club and the Wallem
Commenting on the
latest findings, Frank Coles, CEO of Wallem, said: “. We need to start
listening to our seafarers and urge governments to open their borders to
seafarers and confirm their key worker status as a matter of urgency.