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Article

Coronavirus outbreak puts increasing pressure on cargo ship crews' mental health

“‘Prisoners at sea’: stuck on board cargo ships, crews find their mental well-being under threat”, 2 May 2020

… There are more than 50,000 merchant vessels in the world, including 5,150 container ships, each with an average crew of 22 persons – that makes for a work­force of well over one million people, responsible for deliver­ing 90 per cent of the world’s goods stocking our shops. These men (and some women) are continuing to work seven days a week through the pandemic, their contracts extended because they are unable to disembark their ships…

But extended contracts and the uncertainty surround­ing corona­virus are placing increasing pressure on the mental health of crew members... 

Human Rights at Sea has a number of WhatsApp groups it uses to keep in touch with seafarers of all ranks…

“We have seen a real lack of information, either under-reporting or negligence in reporting the issues,” says Hammond. “They just want to be told the truth, people can deal with the truth. A lot of the crew are saying, ‘We just want to know what is happening.’”…

[Chairman of Mandarin Shipping said,] “This virus is a great opportunity for us to initiate change and put in procedures to call on in future, because it will happen again. This experience will allow us to be better prepared next time.”…

[Also referred to Anglo-Eastern Univan Group, Fleet Management]