Yesterday evening, the winners of the International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards 2019 were revealed at the end of Inmarsat’s exclusive Crew Welfare event for London International Shipping Week.
Organised by ISWAN, the awards give seafarers the chance to say thank you to the companies, organisations and individuals who have provided them with the highest quality welfare services and facilities. For the first time in the awards’ history, seafarers this year judged the shortlisted entries and decided the winners as well as making the initial nominations.
The International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards ceremony took place at the culmination of Inmarsat’s Crew Welfare event – a day hosted by four charities to share the industry’s thoughts on the impact of technology on crew mental wellbeing as part of London International Shipping Week. ISWAN’s awards ceremony was hosted by Karin Orsel – CEO of MF Shipping Group, Vice Chair of the International Chamber of Shipping and Trustee of ISWAN. The awards were presented by Guests of Honour Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime, and Natalie Shaw, Director Employment Affairs at the International Chamber of Shipping.
The first award, the ISWAN Award for Outstanding Support of Seafarers’ Wellbeing, was presented to Shell Ship Management. ISWAN’s expert advisors, who decided the shortlist, were very impressed with Shell’s Resilience programme and the company’s contribution to improving the wider industry’s response to mental health at sea. Shell was given this special award in recognition of this work.
The winners of the four main categories were then revealed and presented with their awards:
Award sponsored by MF Shipping Group
The Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) works closely with partners in welfare services to ensure seafarers can maximise their time in port, including jointly developing an on-demand bus service. MPA organises learning tours to offer seafarers with limited time the chance to visit places of interest in Singapore, and provides 24/7 medical advice and evacuation for seafarers requiring immediate medical attention. Maritime Welfare Fees collected from vessels visiting the Port of Singapore are used to improve welfare facilities and services for seafarers.
Award sponsored by Garrets
Teekay Shipping provides free internet to all its ships and a support line for seafarers experiencing challenges in their work of personal life. The company provides modern gym equipment on board and social interaction is encouraged with onboard team competitions. Teekay also involves families back home with events, competitions and support in the event of emergencies, and provides medical coverage for all seafarers and their dependents.
Award sponsored by Wrist Ship Supply
Seafarers visiting Liverpool Seafarers Centre can take advantage of facilities such as a bar with a shop, an outdoor all-weather area with seating, and a games area including a full-size snooker table. A recent successful grant application enabled the centre to improve its interior furnishings and floor covering to create a homely atmosphere for visiting seafarers. The centre recently introduced the services of a Clinical Psychologist and is open every day, often extending its closing time to meet the needs of seafarers arriving late at night.
Award sponsored by the International Chamber of Shipping
Garry is on call 24 hours a day as a Port Chaplain for Port Hedland Seafarers Centre in Australia, which sees 30,000 seafarers each year. He visits an average of two ships per day, and provides bereavement counselling in the aftermath of 6 to 8 fatalities on average each year in ships visiting Port Hedland. He also handles complaints from seafarers about working conditions on board, makes hospital visits, provides transport to visiting seafarers, raises funds for the centre, and organises 2,000 Christmas gift bags to be distributed to 90 ships in the two weeks over Christmas.
The awards ceremony was closed by Rod Paterson, Deputy Director of Maritime Infrastructure, People, Services & Safety at the Department for Transport, who spoke about the importance of improving the lives of the seafarers that the maritime industry so heavily relies upon.
ISWAN’s Executive Director, Roger Harris, said after the ceremony: ‘We were delighted with this year’s awards event. The standard of the entries was extremely high and ISWAN is proud that the winners and shortlists are publicly recognised for their dedication to the welfare of seafarers worldwide.’
ISWAN would like to thank the host and Headline Sponsor of this year’s International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards, Inmarsat. The awards were also made possible by the following sponsors: the International Chamber of Shipping (The Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award), Wrist Ship Supply (Seafarer Centre of the Year Award), Garrets (Shipping Company of the Year Award), MF Shipping Group (Port of the Year Award), ShipMoney and the International Christian Maritime Association.