SeafarerHelp is the free 24 hour multilingual helpline for seafarers run by the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).
It has been another another busy year for the helpline with a 53% increase in the number of calls to SeafarerHelp and a 19% increase in the number of seafarers assisted. In 2014 the SeafarerHelp team dealt with 1,920 new cases and helped over 7,710 seafarers. Since 2011 there has been a dramatic growth in the number of calls coming into SeafarerHelp and the number of seafarers assisted – there has been nearly a 270% increase in the number of calls and over a 250% increase in the number of seafarers helped.
The most common problems seafarers faced were unpaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions on board and health issues. There were a lot calls requesting information and seeking employment.
Most of the contacts that SeafarerHelp receives are referred on to specialist organisations for direct assistance. These include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and welfare organisations such as Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of The Sea, and the Sailors Society. Other agencies who assisted included national embassies, harbour authorities, and medical service providers.
Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN said "The SeafarerHelp team worked hard in 2014, working every hour of the day and night and every day of the year assisting seafarers. We wish to thank our funders and other supporters for enabling us to provide this vital lifeline for seafarers all over the world."
Seafarers greatly value the service. One said "...your service is excellent ...my problem is solved". Another said "it was nice knowing that you were here for us when we needed help". In a follow up survey 83% of respondents felt that the SeafarerHelp service was either excellent or good and 89% said that they would recommend using it to other seafarers.
If you would like to support SeafarerHelp or need any further information then contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The SeafarerHelp website is at www.seafarerhelp.org.
Seafarers can contact SeafarerHelp 24 hours, 365 days per year, in the following ways: