These days, more people realize that overall health involves both mind and body. In high-pressure jobs, such as those of some superyacht crew, it’s even more important to take account of both. Aboard charter yachts, for example, crew can turn in working days that would exhaust many adults. Then, too, consider that, whether aboard private or charter yachts, they comprise multiple nationalities, in tight quarters. Living and working together 24-7 throws in more stress. These are among the reasons why two organizations have teamed up for a yacht crew health and well-being survey. They’re also why we encourage you to have your crew participate.
Specifically, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) partnered with MHG Insurance Brokers. The latter provides a variety of insurance benefits to yachting industry professionals, yacht owners, and yacht crew. In fact, MHG helped develop MLC-compliant crew-insurance solutions. ISWAN, meanwhile, is a charity, focused on seafarers worldwide. It promotes their well-being and partners with like-minded organizations to raise awareness of and address issues.
ISWAN partnered with MHG due to its reach into the yachting market. “Maritime welfare organizations are used to dealing with seafarers on cargo and cruise ships,” explains Roger Harris, ISWAN’s executive director. He continues, “The number of seafarers in the yacht sector has grown to around 35,000, and we need to know more about the challenges.”
There’s a little insight into yacht crew health and well-being challenges so far. Yachting Pages Media Group, which publishes industry news, asked crew about mental-health issues in early 2017. Seventy-two percent reported having issues, or knowing a fellow crewmember with them. Yet, only 54 percent had discussed these issues. Furthermore, 70 percent said resources didn’t exist to address onboard stress and general mental health.
“The mental and physical health and well-being of these seafarers is not just a professional interest,” comments Andrew Dudzinski, CEO of MHG. “We want to know better what makes them tick and how their time at sea can be improved.” This also includes reviewing what approaches currently in place are indeed working.
The survey, available online now, asks questions about communications, food, cabins, and more. All comments are anonymous. ISWAN intends to release the findings on its website in December.