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Following the Wellness at Sea Conference last month – hosted by maritime charity, Sailors’ Society – global marine distress signal company, WesCom Signal and Rescue shows its commitment to enabling and supporting wellness at sea, for all crew – whether on board or on land.
From emotional and mental status, to physical and social wellbeing, the welfare of seafarers around the world is of the utmost importance and to better understand this, social studies, investigations and interviews have been conducted over the last decade. These have highlighted a shocking percentage of crew members who suffer from feeling alone, anxious or depressed at least once during long voyages away from their loved ones – the number one stressor for a seafarer.
Food, social isolation and short-term contracts all contributed highly to lack of morale on board. Shockingly, the biggest cause of death at sea was suicide – the second highest rating across all professions. This research is now being used as a catalyst for the industry to make changes and company-wide commitments to invest in the wellbeing of their staff.
Director of Global Marketing and Communications for WesCom Signal and Rescue, Chris Feibusch, is an ambassador for Sailors’ Society. During the conference, Chris pledged his support and commitment to help spread the important messages from the conference and the fantastic work Sailors’ Society is doing.
He comments, “The wellbeing of our seafarers is of vital importance and it is shocking to see such negative stats of these professionals at sea. It is a shared responsibility to ensure they have the understanding, skills and tools required to be fully prepared at sea, as well as the space to talk confidently about any worries they may have. At WesCom, we will continue to support Sailors’ Society in its ongoing mission to improve the welfare of seafarers around the world.”
Many industry professionals joined the conference – from a delegate and speaker position – to join in the discussions, including CEO of Euronav, Paddy Rodgers, who discussed “Healthy seafarer, healthy ship, healthy balance sheet”; Johan Smith, Project Manager for Sailors’ Society, who gave an overview of the innovative Wellness at Sea programme; and Professor Rafael Lefkowitz from Yale University, who revealed the results of his joint research with Sailors’ Society into the common causes of injury and illness at sea.
Stuart Rivers, CEO of Sailors’ Society, comments, “We firmly believe that we can bring further positive changes for our industry’s life force – the seafarers on whom we all depend. We want our seafarers to be empowered and equipped with the tools to be able to recognise and pre-empt signs of physical and mental ill health for both themselves and their crewmates.”
WesCom Signal and Rescue sponsored the Wellness at Sea Conference this year, as part of their commitment to seafarers’ wellbeing. Chris adds, “As a brand, we feel very strongly about the topic. WesCom and Sailors’ Society share many moral and ethical approaches to seafarer welfare and safety at sea – so it’s a natural affiliation.”
The one-day event, held on Friday 16 March 2018, focused on crew wellbeing and its impact on health and safety on board, with presentations from industry experts looking at physical, emotional, intellectual and social wellness. More than 100 delegates attended the event in London.
WesCom Signal and Rescue is the world’s leading supplier of marine distress signals and is the parent company of Pains Wessex, Comet, Oroquieta and Aurora. Its brands have been helping to save lives for more than 100 years and are trusted for their reliability, high quality and consistent superiority by rescue services, navies, merchant ships and fishing fleets throughout the world.
For further information about WesCom Signal and Rescue, please visit: www.wescomsignal.com.
To download the presentations from Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea Conference, please visit: www.sailorssocietywasc.org.