With the crew change crisis that left up to 400,000 seafarers stranded on vessels beyond their contract periods and unsure when they would get home to see their families, crew welfare has been in the spotlight over the last 12 months.
The Crew Matters app provides not only provides a live chat helpline, but also activities such as live gym workouts to encourage crew interactivity, mental well being classes and educational training. The app, which has just gone live, is available to around 10,000 seafarers on more than 400 ships sailing under the Isle of Man flag.
Isle of Man Ship Registry director Cameron Mitchell said, “The app provides structured welfare support for the seafarer, ranging from a health and wellbeing self-help library that includes nutritional advice, through to Tapiit Live’s interactive support sessions.
“Safety is a fundamental pillar of our ethos as a high-quality flag state. Even before Covid we recognised that something had to be done that delivered tangible results to help seafarers in the wilderness of the sea. The catalyst was an apparent suicide on a vessel sailing under our flag and we recognised that while there is support for seafarers in port, through the many brilliant chaplaincies and seafarer charities, the ‘weak link’ is support while at sea,” he explained.
In addition to welfare related support the app also stores all seafarer documentation in a single location, and provides a link to services from union Nautilus.
Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International, said: “Seafarers can be away from friends and family for many months at a time, undertaking vital yet often physically and mentally difficult work. This new app will mean that seafarers and Nautilus members will have access to news, support and vital contacts to make sure that they have everything they need while they are at sea.”
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