Seafarers trapped at sea feel forgotten

The results of the Seafarers Happiness Index in Q2 2020 show the happiness levels of seafarers at 6.18/10, down from 6.30 in Q1. There was a downward trend across almost all questions when it comes to how crew are feeling. Increased stress, uncertainty and worries were all apparent.

Being apart and not knowing when they will get home is seemingly, and understandably, taking a heavy toll. There is real stress, frustration and annoyance building up, none of which feels like it can be resolved without the obvious solution of crew changes.

There was one unifying theme across the results and that was how the uncertainty facing crews is taking a terrible toll. There is a sense of constant dread and even paranoia creeping in.

Seafarers are not only dealing with normal cargo operations but are also coping with precautions, sanitizing and living under a constant fear of infection. Ironically, this can make them feel even more vulnerable and susceptible to the virus.

The crew change crisis has reached such a point that it seems seafarers are running out of patience. They want to be home, they want what they contractually signed up for to be a reality, not a hope. 

When crews are changed out, when seafarers can get home to their families, loved ones and communities, then we can expect happiness and satisfaction to climb once more. Until then, it is hard to anticipate how the mood can be lightened and spirits raised.

The message from seafarers is clear: crew changes are needed, and those who can make them happen must do so, now. Sitting on ships all over the world, trapped at work and living in fear of their health, sanity, livelihoods and the safety of their families, seafarers feel forgotten and overlooked.

Image credit: rusdi sembak /

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