In a deeper dive into the Seafarer Happiness Index Q2 report, Group Club NorthStandard has noted that the Q2 2023 results reflected a sustained drop in happiness for the second quarter in succession, and that this signalled “a worrisome atmosphere for those on board”.
The Club said that it was “widely known that seafarers are busy on board”, but it added that “over the years, workloads and demands seem to have increased to the point where seafarers are swamped with responsibilities, leaving them with little time for anything else”.
Respondents consistently stated that companies were not budgeting sufficient funds to provide adequate gym or sports equipment to give crew an outlet to exercise. However, on many vessels where such facilities were available, the issue was often that, after all responsibilities had been taken care of, there was neither time nor energy available for a workout in the gym.
As one respondent put it: “The gym is here, but there is no time for that.”
The Club said that “only with access to good facilities, and reasonable time for leisure, can seafarers maintain a reasonable standard of physical activity, thereby reducing potential exposure to a range of health concerns”.
Crew changes had also impacted seafarers’ opportunity to take shore leave. Some respondents claimed that, in their entire seagoing careers, they had never experienced shore leave. The Club felt that this could contribute to a sense of boredom, frustration and a significant lowering of morale.
NorthStandard noted that it was “dedicated to improving seafarer welfare, and testament to that commitment, the club is a signatory on the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change as well as a proud sponsor of the Seafarers Happiness Index, a report by Mission to Seafarers”.