Seafarer happiness returns to pre-pandemic levels

The latest Seafarers Happiness Index report from The Mission to Seafarers, has found that happiness levels amongst seafarers had recovered from the deep lows experienced during the height of pandemic-related delays. Happiness levels were now at about the same levels as were seen immediately pre-Covid-19.

The survey, conducted with support from Wallem Group and the Standard Club, suggested that the Covid-19 related stresses were beginning to ease, although challenges with shore leave and ship-shore connectivity remained.

The report noted that shore leave and extended contracts had been a major problem since the start of the pandemic, with 5% of seafarers responding stating that they had been away at sea for more than a year; a further 13% had been at sea for more than nine months.

The challenges of balancing home life with the uncertainties brought about by the crew change crisis had led to many who had already tentatively been considering a move ashore, to accelerate their career-change plans. The report also noted that many seafarers had said that they did not intend to return to sea once they eventually got home.

Another major factor for seafarers will be one familiar to many business travellers over the past 20 years – the cost of online access. This matter came up repeatedly in the report. For some seafarers their access to the internet on board had been charged at $25 for 100MB.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, said that “seafarers have been through so much over the past two years. They have been key to world trade at a time of unparalleled risk and disruption, they have kept the lights and heat on, they have kept shop shelves stocked and they have allowed the world to edge towards recovery. We owe them all a huge debt of gratitude and enormous respect and recognition.”