Sailors’ Society, one of the largest seafarer support charities operating internationally, has developed ‘Chapplaincy’ a Smartphone App which will enable port chaplains and ship visitors to deliver more effective care to the world’s 1.5 million seafarers.
Developed with the support of Augustea Group, Chapplaincy enables real-time activity reporting and maintains a history of ship visits and support provided to seafarers. Data can then be accessed by chaplains in other ports and subject to confidentiality and data protection policies, can be used to provide ongoing care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage.
The App is the first of its kind and is made possible by access to global ship tracking data from MarineTraffic, which helps chaplains see which vessels are in port and those due to arrive. The result is more effective use of time and improved co-ordination with other welfare organisations.
Sailors’ Society Chief Executive Stuart Rivers says Chapplaincy is an important enabler of its Wellness at Sea programme, launched earlier this year.
“Chapplaincy revolutionises the way that our chaplains work with seafarers, allowing them to respond more quickly and follow up with a seafarer’s friends and family even after the ship has sailed. With better communication, we hope to identify faster some of the issues that affect seafarers such as stress, poor mental health and fatigue and so reduce the risks to safety, as well as increasing efficiency and retention rates for shipowners.”
The App is live and being used by Sailors’ Society chaplains and ship visitors around the world. In the second development phase, the charity is working to make it available to other welfare agencies to provide an even better level of support and care to seafarers. In addition, it is developing a version for seafarers, enabling them to make contact in advance of arrival at port in order to access welfare services.
Demitris Memos, Managing Director of MarineTraffic said: “We are delighted to be powering the Chapplaincy App with MarineTraffic data. Seafarers’ welfare should be a high priority for the maritime sector and data can undoubtedly better enable those who provide direct care. The ability that technology has given us to track ships at sea and in port increases transparency and efficiency, in this case with positive outcomes for seafarers’ welfare.”
Initially available for the Android operating system, Chapplaincy guides the user through the visit – including check-in, status update and statistical reports. An admin dashboard informs support staff and management, in realtime, of the location and status of the ship visitor, as well as compiling narrative and accurate statistical data which is then stored for reporting and analysis.
Stuart Rivers adds: “We are deeply grateful for the support we have received from Augustea in developing Chapplaincy and the technical input of MarineTraffic which helped to make this a true industry project. By gathering real-time information on the impact of our services, the App will also enable trend analysis of issues affecting seafarers which will inform our support provision and the industry at large.”