A report from the Mission to Seafarers reveals that seafarers working on cruise ships and ferries are among the unhappiest in the shipping industry. Its latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, produced in association with the Shipowners’ Club, is based on the responses of thousands of seafarers across the global maritime industry
The Index is made up of 10 questions covering key areas, such as mental and physical health, diet, rest, workload, connectivity, training, access to shore leave, and relationships at home and onboard.
While the average index figure stood at 6.27 (out of 10) for the last quarter, the happiness index for seafarers working on cruise and ferry ships averaged 5.3 – 15 percent less than the global average.
The report says that four key issues emerged for seafarers across all shipping – delayed payment of wages; decreased shore leave; workload stress caused by smaller crews on board; and a lack of understanding by shore staff about seafarer welfare issues. Many seafarers also expressed their concern about the growth of seafarer abandonment around the world. There were also some reports of aggression, violence and bullying against women seafarers.
However, seafarers reported more positively on keeping in contact with their family while at sea, indicating improved connectivity, and more opportunities to keep fit and healthy on board.
Other findings from the survey, which was completed by thousands of respondents from the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Western Europe and elsewhere, were that happiness levels were highest among the youngest seafarers, aged 16 to 25, and cadets.