By MarEx 2015-05-11 11:02:21
A new survey released today by Crewtoo, a social media platform for seafarers, indicates there are still major issues that need to be addressed to ensure overall crew satisfaction. Crewtoo surveyed members of its approximately 110,000 members for a three month period beginning January 2015 and asked them to rate their satisfaction working at sea according to a 10 point scale. The overall result of the seafarer’s surveyed indicated that overall happiness came in at mediocre 6.42, with 10 representing the highest degree of satisfaction.
“It is all well and good to talk about seafarers and the realities of life at sea, but until now there has been very little confirmation as to how seafarers actually feel about their jobs”, says Anneley Pickles, head of Crewtoo business development.
The biggest seafarer complaints included a lack of shore leave and stress and fatigue from increasing workloads. Also, at the forefront for many crew members was access to reliable internet. Seafarers stated that onboard internet “makes life at sea easier”, due mainly to increased communication with family and friends back at home. They also noted concern that the industry might have difficulty attracting new talent if internet connectivity does not become more commonplace aboard vessels.
In article published earlier this year in Alert! 38 Bob Iverson, Project Manager of Seafarer’s Mental Health indicated an alarming trend of depression among seafarers. Among 17,026 reported seafarer’s deaths in the period between 1960-2009 roughly 5.9% of all deaths were a result of suicide. This figure is nearly four times higher than suicide averages of 1.6% in Australia and 1.2% in the United Kingdom for 2011.
According to the Seafarer’s Mental Health website primary causes of depression include separation from family and reduced shore leave – two of the main issues brought up by seafarers in today’s study.
Speaking on the results of the survey Ms. Pickles stated, “Happy people stick around, happy people work well, they embrace challenges, they look to excel and share with others. In short, happiness matters and it needs to be measured, assessed, and understood. The lessons then need to be applied to ensure that we are looking after seafarers properly and responding to their wants and needs”.
The results of the Crewtoo study contrast with findings from a joint BIMCO/ICS survey conducted in April. The previous study indicated that the majority of seafarers were content with life at sea, while today’s study indicates that seafarers have numerous concerns that still need to be addressed.