24 April 2018

Last night, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) revealed the 2018 winners of its prestigious International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards at a high-profile ceremony in Geneva.

The awards honour those who have offered exceptional levels of welfare services and facilities to seafarers. The International Labour Organization (ILO) hosted the ceremony, which took place after the third meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the MLC, 2006.

The evening began with a video message from the ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder. Greg Vines, ILO Deputy Director-General for Management & Reform who was presenting the awards, then addressed the guests with a short speech. This was followed by speeches from the event’s main funder and Gold Sponsor, respectively – Tomas Abrahamsson, Acting Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, and Drew Brandy, Senior Vice President of Market Strategy at Inmarsat.

The chair for the evening, MF Shipping Group’s Chief Executive Officer and ISWAN Trustee Karin Orsel, announced the first award of the night. The ISWAN Posthumous Award for Outstanding Services to Seafarers’ Welfare was awarded to Joseph Chacko and Leena Joseph, who tragically passed away in February. Pastor Joseph Chacko was the Regional Superintendent at Sailors’ Society and a trailblazer in seafarers’ welfare, and Leena was a constant supporter of his work. Their daughter, Neha Joseph, accepted the award, which paid tribute to the exceptional difference that Joseph and Leena made to the lives of seafarers.

The Flying Angel Club Fremantle was presented with a certificate of commendation for their continued outstanding services to seafarers’ welfare. Since winning the Seafarer Centre of the Year award in 2014, the centre has increased the transport offered to seafarers and refurbished their accommodation facilities.

Chair Karin Orsel then announced the following winners, chosen by four judging panels formed of experts from across the maritime industry:

Shipping Company of the Year: WALLEM
Award sponsored by Garrets International

Wallem previously won the Shipping Company of the Year award in 2014 for its strong support of seafarers’ families as well as excellent on-board communications provision. Since its previous win, Wallem has implemented a Wellness at Sea Programme for all seafarers and continued to improve on-board communications among other new initiatives aimed at benefitting seafarers.

Port of the Year: PORT OF ROTTERDAM
Award sponsored by MF Shipping Group

The Port of Rotterdam, together with various other stakeholders, has greatly improved welfare services for seafarers in the area and is working on a number of other future initiatives to continue to provide for visiting seafarers.

Seafarer Centre of the Year: MISSION TO SEAFARERS BRISBANE
Award sponsored by Wrist Ship Supply

The Mission to Seafarers Brisbane welcomes an estimated 12,000 seafarers each year and maximises seafarers’ time ashore with its free on-demand bus service. In addition to its wider stakeholder cooperation, the MTS Brisbane works with students at Queensland University of Technology to help them meet the constantly evolving media needs of seafarers.

The Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year (Organisation): NAUTILUS WELFARE FUND
Award sponsored by the International Chamber of Shipping

The Nautilus Welfare Fund provides accommodation and care services for some 170 mariners and their dependants. It also provides a one-off grants service to needy mariners across the UK who need essential items or household repairs. This service supports over 300 mariners and generates £800,000/annum in benefits and grants.

The Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year (Individual): JASPER DEL ROSARIO
Award sponsored by the International Chamber of Shipping

Jasper Del Rosario is a highly experienced and well-trained Sailors’ Society chaplain who is fully committed to supporting seafarers any time of the day or night. He visits seafarers on ships, in hospital, in prison and at home and provides holistic coaching in the Philippines as a Wellness at Sea trainer. He provided exceptional support to seafarers and their families in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

ISWAN’s Executive Director, Roger Harris, said after the ceremony: ‘Tonight’s awards celebrate the heroes of seafarers’ welfare provision. It is fantastic to see the exceptional standards of services and facilities being offered to seafarers around the world every time we hold the International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards, and the achievements of this year’s winners set an excellent example to others. We would like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners and thank them wholeheartedly for everything they are doing for seafarers.’

Photos of the awards ceremony and the drinks reception afterwards can be viewed here.

The 2018 awards are made possible by a generous grant from the ITF Seafarers' Trust and the support of Inmarsat (Gold sponsor), the International Chamber of Shipping (Dr Dierk Lindemann Welfare Personality of the Year Award), Garrets International (Shipping Company of the Year Award), Wrist Ship Supply (Seafarers’ Centre of the Year Award) and MF Shipping Group (Port of the Year Award). The awards are also supported by the International Labour Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Christian Maritime Association and the International Transport Workers Federation.

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.seafarerswelfareawards.org.

13 April 2018

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This month, the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) celebrates five years of supporting seafarers and promoting their welfare worldwide.

On 1 April 2013, the International Committee on Seafarers' Welfare (ICSW) and the International Seafarers' Assistance Network (ISAN) formally merged to form ISWAN. Five years later, ISWAN marked the anniversary with a celebratory drinks reception in London. ISWAN members, supporters and friends from across the maritime industry gathered at the White Chapel Building in London on Wednesday evening to mark five years of the organisation’s dedicated work for seafarers’ welfare (the photos can be viewed here). The venue was kindly provided by the Shipowners’ Club.

Speaking at the reception, ISWAN’s Chairman Per Gullestrup (pictured above proposing a toast) said: ‘It’s hard to believe that it’s already five years since ISWAN came into existence. We look back at those five years and a lot has happened since then.’ Here are some of the organisation’s highlights…

SeafarerHelp square white

Over 44,000 seafarers assisted by SeafarerHelp

ISWAN’s free, 24/7, multilingual helpline is the first port of call for seafarers and their families anywhere in the world needing help, support or guidance. Since ISWAN’s launch in April 2013, SeafarerHelp has assisted a total of 44,290 seafarers, dealing with concerns such as family issues, contractual difficulties, repatriation, personal problems and health issues. The SeafarerHelp team now deals with more cases in-house as a result of extensive training to expand their emotional support and counselling skills. ISWAN still works in partnership with a wide range of organisations who are often involved in helping with SeafarerHelp cases.

Keen to make it as easy as possible for seafarers and their families around the world to get in touch with SeafarerHelp, ISWAN has widened the range of contact methods on offer over the past five years. The newest platforms to be introduced are WhatsApp and Viber.

Safety at Sea Awards SeafarerHelp team

Helpline wins award and gains accreditation in 2017

The SeafarerHelp team gained recognition for their hard work and dedication when they were named Shoreside Team of the Year at the 2017 Safety at Sea Awards (pictured).

In the same year, the helpline was accredited with the nationally recognised Helplines Standard by Helplines Partnership. SeafarerHelp was the first helpline operating on a global basis to achieve this accreditation.

Over $400,000 awarded to seafarers via Seafarers Emergency Fund

The fund has provided seafarers and their families directly involved in unforeseen crises with a total of $416,442.95 of immediate, essential aid since April 2013.

…including $131,000 raised for Filipino seafarers affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Funds from ISWAN’s 2013 appeal were distributed to seafarers’ centres all over the world to provide free calls and WiFi to Filipino seafarers needing to contact their families and loved ones back home. The money raised was also used to assist in rebuilding homes and develop a children’s resource centre in the Philippines.

International Seafarers Welfare Awards 2015

Five years of events around the world to promote seafarers’ welfare

ISWAN has so far honoured the companies, organisations and individuals offering exceptional welfare services and facilities to seafarers at three international awards events. The 2018 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards will take place at the International Labour Organization in Switzerland later this month.

2,500 seafarers and their families joined ISWAN to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer in Manila on 25 June 2016. ISWAN has also held seminars on topics around seafarers’ welfare every year since 2013 with delegates from across the maritime industry.

Naham 3 hostages and plane in Somalia editedA dedicated programme to support those affected by piracy

ISWAN expanded its support of piracy survivors and their families with the inclusion of the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme (MPHRP) into the organisation in 2015. ISWAN updated the Good Practice Guide for Shipping Companies and Manning Agents the same year to provide recommendations for the support of seafarers and their families before, during and after piracy incidents.

ISWAN and MPHRP supported the families of the crew of Naham 3 (pictured after their release), who were held captive by pirates for four and a half years and finally released in October 2016. ISWAN provided financial support to the families, and upon the crew’s release, it provided the seafarers with medical and psychological support as well as funds to assist them in the aftermath of their ordeal.

Information materials for seafarers produced and distributed worldwide

Since 2013, ISWAN’s Seafarers’ Health Information Programme (SHIP) has continued to produce health guides and posters along with a multilingual medical assessment booklet and distributed them to shipping companies, ports and seafarers’ centres worldwide. ISWAN’s latest materials, a series of Good Mental Health Guides available in both digital and hard copies, have so far been accessed online a total of more than 7,000 times.

In 2014, ISWAN produced and distributed 60,000 updated Seafarer Centre Directory booklets around the world and maintains an online version on the SeafarerHelp website. The data from this feeds into the ITF Seafarers’ Trust’s Shore Leave app. Since the launch of the new SeafarerHelp website in November 2016, the directory homepage has been visited over 13,000 times.

IPWPPort welfare committees set up worldwide and vital research published

ISWAN’s International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) Programme was launched in 2017 following a highly successful pilot project, which established seafarers’ welfare boards in ports across four continents.

Over the past five years, ISWAN has also conducted research into port levies and the health and wellbeing of women working at sea, as well as social isolation and the effects of digital technology on seafarers’ mental wellbeing.

Over 370,000 followers of SeafarerHelp on Facebook

ISWAN also shares information, news on seafarers’ welfare and photos on its website, which is in the process of being revamped, along with other digital platforms including the main ISWAN Facebook page (over 13,000 followers), Twitter (followers now exceed 3,000), LinkedIn and Instagram.

Roger Harris, ISWAN’s Executive Director, said: ‘ISWAN has come a long way in the last five years and we are proud of our achievements. We have a committed staff team dedicated to improving the wellbeing of seafarers worldwide. We are looking forward to the challenges of the next five years as there is still a lot more to do to develop welfare services and facilities for seafarers and their families around the world.’

ISWAN would like to sincerely thank its members – including the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Christian Maritime Association – and its funders – the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the TK Foundation, Seafarers UK, the Trafigura Foundation and Trinity House – who make ISWAN’s work possible through invaluable support, funding and ongoing partnership working.

11 April 2018

A surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa is pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea, warns the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

IMB's Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.

Worldwide in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.

The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in 2018 Q1, more than forty percent of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one were in this region.

All four vessels hijackings were in the Gulf of Guinea, where no hijackings were reported in 2017. Two product tankers were hijacked from Cotonou anchorage in mid-January and early February, prompting the IMB PRC to issue a warning to ships. Towards the end of March, two fishing vessels were hijacked 30nm off Nigeria and 27nm off Ghana.

‘The hijacking of product tankers from anchorages in the Gulf of Guinea is a cause of concern. In these cases, the intent of the perpetrators is to steal the oil cargo and kidnap crew. The prompt detection and response to any unauthorised movements of an anchored vessel could help in the effective response to such attacks,’ commented an IMB spokesperson.

Nigeria piracy hotspot

Nigeria alone recorded 22 incidents. Of the 11 vessels fired upon worldwide, eight were off Nigeria – including a 300,000 MT deadweight VLCC tanker more than 40nm off Brass.

‘Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea are against all vessels. Crews have been taken hostage and kidnapped from fishing and refrigerated cargo vessels as well as product tankers. In some cases, the attacks have been avoided by the early detection of an approaching skiff, evasive action taken by the vessel and the effective use of citadels. The IMB is working with national and regional authorities in the Gulf of Guinea to support ships and coordinate counter piracy actions. The authorities from Benin, Nigeria and Togo have sent out boats in response to several incidents,’ said an IMB spokesperson.

Somali risk remains

One incident was reported off Somalia, where a product tanker was fired upon and chased by two skiffs around 160nm SE of Hobyo. At the end of March, a 160,000 DWT tanker reported being fired upon in the Gulf of Aden, while transiting within the Maritime Security Transit Corridor. The distance from land, sighting of ladders and firing upon ships continues to illustrate that the Somali pirates retain the capability and intent to attack merchant shipping in the wider Indian Ocean.

Indonesia

Indonesia recorded nine low level attacks against anchored vessels. Five bulk carriers reported actual or attempted attacks at Muara Berau anchorage in Samarinda, while waiting to load coal cargoes.

The full report can be downloaded below.

9 April 2018

Later this month, ISWAN’s Executive Director Roger Harris will present on the mental health of seafarers at a seminar on ‘The Future of Maritime Professionals’.

Regulations, enforcement of Conventions, technology, connectivity, social isolation and mental health all have an effect on today’s seafarer. The seminar, organised by The Nautical Institute London Branch, will focus on these topics and how they affect the future of maritime professionals.

Ahead of his presentation, Roger Harris said: ‘The mental wellbeing of seafarers is becoming an important issue and it is good to see that The Nautical Institute London Branch are highlighting it at their conference.’

The seminar will be held at the Novotel Hotel Bristol from 20th to 21st April 2018. For more information, visit The Nautical Institute’s website. The seminar programme can be downloaded below.

ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Imagine that a member of your family is working away at sea. Now imagine finding out that they have been arrested with the rest of the crew. They are in prison in a different country and you have no way of communicating with them. This was the ordeal faced by the families of the crew of a cargo vessel, who reached out to SeafarerHelp for assistance.

On 3rd December 2015, the ship was arrested off the cost of Sicily for alleged drug smuggling. The 11 crew, made up of Ukrainians and Georgians, were arrested and imprisoned in Palermo, Sicily.

The wife of one of the seafarers contacted SeafarerHelp in January 2016. She and the other seafarers’ families had lost contact with their loved ones and were desperate for justice.

The SeafarerHelp team put the families in contact with a welfare service in the Ukraine for support. The team also got in touch with the lawyers working on the case in Sicily. The families were having difficulties sending money to the seafarers so that they could keep in contact with them whilst in prison. The families were also unable to communicate with the lawyers because they had no common language, so SeafarerHelp assisted here as well. The seafarer’s wife was very concerned about her husband’s health as he had pre-existing medical issues and had developed a suspected ulcer. The SeafarerHelp team contacted Stella Maris in Palermo who visited the seafarer in prison and agreed to support him and obtain the medicine he needed.

The SeafarerHelp team spent a lot of time liaising with the families and Stella Maris to keep them updated on the situation with the seafarers. After several court hearings, all but one of the seafarers, including the seafarer supported by SeafarerHelp, were released from prison. SeafarerHelp received a letter from the seafarer’s wife who thanked the team for their assistance and confirmed that the seafarers had at last been repatriated.

SeafarerHelp is not just a helpline for seafarers. If you are a family member of a seafarer and need assistance or support, contact us. All our contact details can be found at seafarerhelp.org. Make a note of our details or save them on your phone in case you ever need us.

We rely on charitable grants and donations for our work with seafarers. Help us support seafarers in need worldwide by donating at Virgin Money Giving or JustGiving.

28 March 2018

The Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries and Intelsat, shows digital transformation underway in the maritime industry.

Roger Adamson, Futurenautics Maritime’s chief executive officer, presented to a London audience yesterday the key findings from his research organisation’s newly released Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report, sponsored by KVH Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: KVHI) and Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I). The report is based on a survey of 6,000 serving seafarers, the largest sample to date to complete the wide-ranging questionnaire covering onboard attitudes to the digital transformation sweeping the industry.

According to the report, more seafarers than ever have access to connectivity: Some 75% of seafarers can now use the Internet at sea, which is a rise of 32% or over half a million more crew (520,000, to be exact) since the last survey three years ago. Futurenautics Maritime conducted the first survey in 2012, in an effort to provide data of value to the maritime industry.

'It’s our belief that collaborating and sharing information can accelerate the pace of transformation in shipping and maritime, and begin to understand and solve big problems,' says Mr. Adamson. 'The Crew Connectivity survey is a clear demonstration of that process in action.'

The report’s findings show a change in mindset among seafarers regarding many aspects of connectivity. Among the key findings:

  • 92% of seafarers reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work, up from 78% in prior years.
  • 95% of seafarers view connectivity as having a positive effect on onboard safety, an increase of 72% since the 2015 survey.
  • 69% of respondents view the increasing use of big data and analytics as a positive opportunity for their jobs in the next five years, versus 17% who see it as a threat.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, said: 'This important and timely survey shows that although the majority of seafarers now have good access to the internet while on-board, a significant number of seafarers still lack easy and cheap connectivity while at sea. The findings also provide an opportunity for the welfare sector to look at the future role of seafarer centres given that the report points to a be decreasing use of their facilities by seafarers.'

In addition to sponsorship by KVH and Intelsat, the report received support from leading maritime organizations BIMCO, Alpha Navigation, PTC, ISWAN and InterManager.

The report can be downloaded from the Futurenautics website, crewconnectivity.com.

Meet Ricardo Javier Finol Soto! Ricardo is an Ordinary Seaman from Venezuela in his first year as a seafarer and is studying for a master’s degree in his spare time. His crew is like his family and he teaches them English on board. We chatted to Ricardo about life as a seafarer.

What is your job on board and what does it involve?

Actually I am working as an Ordinary Seaman and an English teacher! But I am a lawyer with degrees in Maritime Law and a Maritime Student. My routine on board is teaching English to my Venezuelan friends because Maritime according to IMO is maritime language and I work in maintenance, paint, and clean vessels.

How long is a typical voyage, and how long do you spend at home in between voyages?

Normally 2 or 3 months (60-90 days) is a typical voyage. Around 1 or 2 months (30 – 60 days) [is spent at home].

How long have you been working as a seafarer?

9 months, I am young! I am 23 years old.

What made you decide to become a seafarer?

First, my grandfather and my father are marine merchant, it was the principal reason, but Venezuela, my first country, is a maritime country, and the place where I was born is Maracaibo [which] has a big Lake with a lot of petroleum, so I live in a Maritime city too. These reasons invite me to support maritime area. And I want it, I want to continue studying and of course sailing.

What do you enjoy most about working at sea?

First the silence, and how you can find peace observing the sea. Other thing is that you work in a group who is your maritime family; because I consider that the crew is a family that you don’t know.

Ricardo Javier Finol Soto 2

Ricardo (front row, second from left) teaching his Venezuelan crewmates English (photo: Instagram)

And what do you find most challenging?

Stay on board for months. Because you have to spend time working or making different things, change routines, etc.

What do you like to do in your free time on board?

Well I am studying a master’s degree in Management, so in my free time I am studying by distance learning. Also, I go to the gym, if I can find a guitar I play it or read articles or news.

What has been your biggest achievement at sea?

I consider that is to stay for 110 days on board and celebrate my birthday, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and other special dates.

What advice would you give to a seafarer about to embark on their first voyage?

Seafarers [are] a family. Sea is a place to grow up as a father, as a son, as a husband, is an opportunity to demonstrate our forces.

Do you have anything else you would like to share about life at sea?

Today life at sea is different; we have internet access, so you can show your experiences on board, and comment about it. Being a seafarer you can visit different countries, islands. You can have friends from different countries.

Would you like to talk to us about your life at sea? Do you have an interesting story to tell from your time as a seafarer? We would love to hear from you! Send an e-mail to Amy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

20 March 2018

The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network’s (ISWAN) free, confidential helpline for seafarers is now available on instant messaging app Viber.

In 2017, ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp assisted 8,862 seafarers of 92 different nationalities with concerns such as family issues, personal problems, unpaid wages, repatriation and health issues. ISWAN is keen to make it as easy as possible for seafarers and their families around the world to get in touch if they need assistance. The helpline offers a range of contact methods including e-mail, telephone, Live Chat, Facebook and WhatsApp. Following feedback from seafarers, Viber is the latest platform to be launched.

Viber currently has over 900 million users worldwide1. The app uses the device’s internet connection to send messages and make calls. This enables seafarers to get in touch from areas with low or no phone signal and avoid SMS fees and calling charges (although SeafarerHelp will always call seafarers back if they have no internet connection and are only able to phone).

SeafarerHelp is now available on Viber from Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 18:00, UK time. Any messages received outside these hours will be responded to within the monitored times. All other contact methods for SeafarerHelp, excluding WhatsApp, remain available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – visit seafarerhelp.org for the full range of contact details.

Seafarers and their families can contact SeafarerHelp by message or voice call on Viber using the following number: +44 (0)7741 594549. The app can be downloaded here (on Android devices) or here (on iOS devices).

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1Viber, March 2018 (viber.com/about)

15 March 2018

ISWAN has produced four new infographics, in partnership with the Shipowner’s Club, using extracts from its latest self-help guide for seafarers, Psychological Wellbeing at Sea.

Psychological wellbeing enables us to function well, feel good about ourselves, and feel a sense of purpose and life satisfaction. With restrictions to wellbeing such as spending time away from family and friends, limited shore leave and long working hours, it is important for seafarers to take care of their mental health while working on board. ISWAN’s new infographics, sponsored by Shipowners’ Club and overseen by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Pennie Blackburn, describe ways in which seafarers can boost their psychological wellbeing.

Drawing on guidance in Psychological Wellbeing at Sea, part of ISWAN’s Good Mental Health Guides for Seafarers, the infographics identify some of the critical factors which characterise wellbeing and suggest how seafarers can enhance them. These include connecting with others on board, doing more of what makes you happy and how to find support while at sea.

ISWAN will reach seafarers with these new resources via various methods, including its large Facebook following, its network of members and other stakeholders around the world.

The infographics can be downloaded below or on the SeafarerHelp website.

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

8 March 2018

Today is International Women’s Day and we are celebrating all the women who work as seafarers, making up 2% of the workforce. One of our SeafarerHelp team’s Russian speakers recently interviewed Ekaterina, a third officer from Ukraine, about her experience of being a woman seafarer.

How did you get into the marine profession?

In high school I had to decide which university to enter and what profession to choose. I knew that in the end I wanted to achieve a few things: interesting speciality, as well as the employment opportunities, a job in which I could apply and develop my strengths, ability to see the world, last but not the least important a good salary. That is how I decided to get a degree at Odessa National Maritime Academy.

What is your current rank and how did you get started?

I am 21 years old now. In July 2017 I graduated with a degree of a navigating officer. I started as a cadet. Now I'm doing my fourth contract and my rank at the moment is third officer.

Do male colleagues treat you in a different way because of your gender?

In all my marine experience (and I have always been working with mix nationalities crew), gender did not play a big role. I did and still do the same job as the men at my post. I cannot say that everything was always cloudless and wonderful – but the problems I faced were never gender-based.

Some seafarers comment negatively about the idea of women at sea. How do you feel about it?

I was faced with a lot of negativity from people whose work is mostly not connected with the sea. It seems ironic to me. I am a bit sad that stereotypes are quite strong in our society, but most of the seamen whom I know and work with are positive and supportive.

How would you describe your character and how does it help you in your work?

The desire to learn and know how things works and why, as well as doing work beyond basic requirements, are very important qualities for me. Equally important is a concern for colleagues.

Seafarers face a lot of challenges today. How do you cope with them?

Challenges are different. If something does not work out, I ask colleagues for help and always try to figure out the best way myself. If I make mistakes, I correct them as soon as possible and learn how to avoid them in the future. Of course, it's difficult to stay away from family and loved ones, but what can you do about it? All sailors go through this, in my opinion it helps us to appreciate loved ones even more. Unfortunately, not all problems can be solved quickly and simply. For example, I had a problem with career growth, so I had to change the type of ships and company and learn a lot from scratch. But it seems to me that in the end difficulties often turn out to be for the better.

As for the heavy workload, it is a common myth that women are not able to cope with the demand of the profession. Today physical work has its limitations; there are safety rules and standards aimed at preventing accidents and so on. Following them, as well as maintaining a good physical shape, it is easy to perform the required physical work. For my cadet practice I worked on deck doing the same job as male colleagues and received a huge amount of valuable experience. The officer’s work is mostly mentally focused, although we sometimes have to work with our hands. But it is always enjoyable work for me.

What would you like to say to all women considering a career at sea?

I would like to wish all women in the world: do not limit yourself, do not be afraid of criticism, do things that you like most, strive for your dream and enjoy life. Because life is beautiful, we are beautiful and we can succeed!