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The Apps seafarers find as best friends in need

Threat-ridden seafarers’ life at seas poses so many challenges to them that most of the seafarers lose heart and begin to experience depression, a study by Sailors’ Society and Yale University revealed.  Far away from home and for a long time, the seafarers when faced with trouble, physical and psychological, find no support nearby and it is the moment that turns their lives into a dull burden. Money ceases to lure them.

Now many Apps have been evolved by many groups concerned with the welfare of the seafarers; the Apps that inspire courage to face the challenges out making the profession less depressive and discouraging.

Lloyd’s Register has come out with a long list of useful apps which help the seafarers keep themselves abreast with the latest necessary legislative and regulatory requirements across the industry. The seafarers must know their profession. ISM & ISPS Pocket Checklist and the PSC Pocket Checklist, the two most significant apps, identify the most common causes of ship detention, preventing risk of port state control detentions.

 Detention destroys the shine of the profession and it is no less harmful than a roughest sea; it disrupts entire ship schedule throwing the seafarers into unsettling uncertainty, at least till the detention comes to an end. Prevention of detention at times may not be possible; but, a danger foreseen is half redressed.

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) offered an app that would help seafarers find a lawyer who has signed up with SRI to help them out of some criminal prosecution.

Deirdre Fitzpatrick, executive director of SRI has rightly described it as “a lifeline for seafarers.”

International Transport Workers’ Federation’s ITF Wellbeing app guides the seafarers on health issues ; though at present it is focused on HIV and Aids, soon it will provide information on other well-being issues, including sexually transmitted infections and also on stress and depression.
The International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) offers very useful assistance through its SeafarerHelp using WhatsApp and Viber.  Most significant part of it is seafarers are contacted through phone where there is no internet connection.  All issues like family problems, unpaid (uncertain) wages, and repatriation and health issues are dealt with.

There are apps that deal with Anti-Shipping Activity Message and even Whale Alert which are discussed in detail in Ship-Technology, in the latest issue.  The article on such Apps finally touches upon Shore leave, another very important part of the seafarers’ lives.

ITF’s Shore Leave app comes much handy to the seafarers to plan efficiently their shore life after sea life. In fact, the effective shore life must prove an effective recharging of the seafarers so that they can go back to the seas with renewed vigour.

  Seafarers can use ITF’s Shore Leave app to explore, save and suggest places of interest, such as sports facilities, bars and even bus stops, as well as share their recommendations with others visiting that particular port or city.

Once downloaded, it works offline and all the contacts are stored in seafarers’ phones. Users can find and contact the nearest seafarers’ centre; save maps offline and share useful locations with other seafarers; and drop pins on the map to highlight useful venues.

Available since 2014, the new version enables seafarers to enter a raffle each time they visit a seafarers’ centre by scanning a QR code.


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