Sailors’ Society’s first Wellness at Sea Conference took place at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore this month, with experts from across the world of maritime and medicine discussing issues which can affect seafarers’ health and wellbeing, along with practical solutions.
Warwick Norman CEO RightShip, Alasdair Smith Managing Director SeaTeam Management and Dr Rafael Lefkowitz Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine (Occupational Medicine) at Yale University were among those speaking at the event and delegates heard talks about the cost of investing in crew welfare versus the cost of dealing with the consequences.
Guests heard how Sailors’ Society’s Wellness at Sea programme is developing research studies with Yale University and there were also presentations on the impact of communications on crew welfare and how the Society has helped put seafarers’ on board health and wellbeing in their own hands through the Wellness at Sea app.
Claire Heath, Sailors’ Society’s Partnerships Development Manager, said: “There was a real sense of positivity among the delegates in the room, and a genuine willingness to pull together and ensure that the discussions of the day were the beginning of a movement towards ensuring the health and wellness of seafarers in the future.”
Discussions carried on into the evening with a reception on the waterfront and the event was possible due to sponsorship from Inmarsat, Dorian LPG and Thome Group.
Sailors’ Society CEO Stuart Rivers said: “The conference focused on the early identification of mental health issues before they impact seafarers’ lives, the safety of the ship and cargo, and ultimately the bottom line.
“Wellness at Sea is about recognising that something isn’t right. We heard stories at the conference about conditions on board some ships being so terrible that seafarers were terrified to sleep or even committing suicide.
“If we work together and share data, I believe we can significantly improve the wellness of all seafarers. It is up to us to ensure this happens.”