An international charity dedicated to the relief of need, hardship or distress amongst seafarers of all nationalities, races, colour and creeds irrespective of gender. More about ISWAN

SeafarerHelp

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SeafarerHelp

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Watch the new 'Lifeline' video from ISWAN. The video made by Maritime Films UK, showcases the varied work and projects of ISWAN. Short interviews are held with ISWAN staff as they explain the operation of SeafarerHelp, the 24 hour helpline, the work on supporting seafarers affected by piracy, and the projects dealing with the health and wellbeing of seafarers.

Published in Latest News

SeafarerHelp is the free 24 hour multi-lingual helpline for seafarers run by the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN).

It has been another another busy year for the helpline with a 53% increase in the number of calls to SeafarerHelp and a 19% increase in the number of seafarers assisted. In 2014 the SeafarerHelp team dealt with 1,920 new cases and helped over 7,710 seafarers. Since 2011 there has been a dramatic growth in the number of calls coming into SeafarerHelp and the number of seafarers assisted – there has been nearly a 270% increase in the number of calls and over a 250% increase in the number of seafarers helped.

The most common problems seafarers faced were upaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions on board and health issues. There were a lot calls requesting information and seeking employment.
Most of the contacts that SeafarerHelp receives are referred on to specialist organisations for direct assistance. These include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and welfare organisations such as Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of The Sea, and the Sailors Society. Other agencies who assisted included national embassies, harbour authorities, and medical service providers.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN said "The SeafarerHelp team worked hard in 2014, working every hour of the day and night and every day of the year assisting seafarers. We wish to thank our funders and other supporters for enabling us to provide this vital lifeline for seafarers all over the world."

Seafarers greatly value the service. One said "...your service is excellent ...my problem is solved". Another said "it was nice knowing that you were here for us when we needed help". In a follow up survey 83% of respondents felt that the SeafarerHelp service was either excellent or good and 89% said that they would recommend using it to other seafarers.

If you would like to support SeafarerHelp or need any further information then contact roger.harris[at]iswan.org.ukThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

The SeafarerHelp website is at www.seafarerhelp.org

The Annual Review can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

Seafarers can contact SeafarerHelp 24 hours, 365 days per year, in the following ways:

Telephone: 00 800 20 7323 2737 (Toll free)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
SMS:+44 (0) 7624 818 405
Live chat: www.seafarerhelp.org
Facebook : www.facebook.com/seafarerhelp

Can you donate today to support SeafarerHelp? Thank you.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

 

Published in Latest News

ISWAN runs SeafarerHelp the free 24 hour helpline for seafarers. It is a lifeline for seafarers. The helpline runs everyday of the year including Christmas and New Year's Day. The SeafarerHelp staff speak the main seafarer languages including Filipino, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Turkish, and Arabic. Last year we dealt with over 1250 cases involving nearly 6500 seafarers and their families.

This is a typical case that our staff deal with :

A chaplain in the Philippines contacted SeafarerHelp to report that the wife of a Filipino seafarer had contacted him and told him that her husband had suffered a work related spinal injury on-board a ship in Argentina and had been taken to hospital for surgery. The chaplain asked the SeafarerHelp team if we would contact someone in Argentina and get them to visit the seafarer in hospital so that the seafarer's wife could be given an update on his condition.

The SeafarerHelp team contacted the Apostleship of the Sea in Argentina and they agreed to visit the seafarer in the hospital. In addition a Filipino speaker from the SeafarerHelp team was able to make direct contact with the seafarer and they established his medical situation and passed the information to his wife, keeping in regular contact with her. Following his surgery it took a few weeks for him to be fit enough to travel and he was repatriated, with a nurse as escort, to the Philippines.

Following his repatriation the seafarer remained in regular contact with the SeafarerHelp team reporting on his recovery, which was expected to take from six to twelve months, during which time he could not work. He expressed his gratitude to the team for the help and support they had given him and his wife. In view of his injury and the amount of time he could not work he asked the SeafarerHelp team about claiming compensation. The team referred him to the ITF in the Philippines who helped him with his claim for compensation.

Although we receive grants for our work we still need to raise funds to ensure that we can meet the needs of the seafarers and their families who contact us. You can donate today to help keep the vital SeafarerHelp service running.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

 

Published in Latest News

SeafarerHelp is the free 24 hour multi-lingual helpline for seafarers run by the International Seafarers' Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN).

ISWAN have just produced the 2013 Annual Review for SeafarerHelp. During 2013 the SeafarerHelp team dealt with problems involving over 6,400 seafarers and their families. There was a 35% increase in the number of new cases handled by the SeafarerHelp team, and an increase of 47% in the number of seafarers assisted compared to the previous year. The most common problems seafarers faced were upaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions on board and health issues.

Most of the contacts that SeafarerHelp receives are referred on to specialist organisations for direct assistance. These include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and welfare organisations such as Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of The Sea, and the Sailors Society. Other agencies who assisted included national embassies, harbour authorities, and medical service providers.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN said "The SeafarerHelp team did a great job in 2013 working 24 hours everyday of the year assisting seafarers. We wish to thank our funders and other supporters for helping us provide this vital lifeline for seafarers all over the world."

One case where SeafarerHelp provided assistance was to the pregnant wife of a Ukrainian seafarer who contacted SeafarerHelp to complain that her husband had not been paid for over three months and that she badly needed the money to prepare for the impending birth of their child. We soon established that her husband and the rest of the crew had been abandoned in South Korea by the ship owner, and the caller's husband agreed for us to refer his case to the ITF. The local ITF inspector boarded the ship and arranged for it to be arrested by the local authorities. The ITF also arranged for the seafarers to be repatriated to their respective countries. However, the seafarers could not be paid their outstanding wages until the vessel was sold by auction. In the meantime, the seafarer was very happy to go home and saw the birth of his baby. A few months later he and all his colleagues finally received their outstanding salaries when the vessel was sold.

The SeafarerHelp service relies upon charitable funding for its continued existence. If you are able to financially support SeafarerHelp, then please contact Roger Harris at iswan[at]iswan.org.uk.

The Annual Review and the infographic can be downloaded from the bottom of the page.

Seafarers can contact SeafarerHelp 24 hours, 365 days per year, in the following ways:

  • Telephone: 00 800 20 7323 2737 (Toll free)
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • SMS:+44 (0) 7624 818 405
  • Live chat: www.seafarerhelp.org

SeafarerHelp InfoGraphicSheet 20140709

 

Published in Latest News

Maryanne Adams, who works for the Marshall Islands Registry, raised over £1350 for ISWAN. Maryanne ran the Brighton marathon in the UK and completed the course in under six and half hours. Maryanne said it was tough going although she enjoyed it. Maryanne visited the ISWAN where Roger Harris, the Executive Director, thanked her for her efforts. Roger said "We are deeply grateful for Maryanne's amazing feat and raising so much for the welfare of seafarers. This is the first time someone has run a marathon to fundraise for ISWAN."

Maryanne's fundraising page is still open at https://www.justgiving.com/Maryanne-Adams. Donations can be made by credit card and by mobile phone text.

We still need to raise funds to run our 24 helpline for seafarers, SeafarerHelp.

If you would like to fundraise for ISWAN please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Latest News

seafarer 1Seafarers live tough and dangerous lives. They are away from their families for long periods and often do not get ashore for months. Many are from the developing world with their extended families dependent on them for paying for education and health care.

The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) works to promote the welfare of seafarers worldwide. We advocate on behalf of seafarers for better welfare services and facilities in ports and onboard ships as well as providing direct services for seafarers.

We run a helpline for seafarers called SeafarerHelp. SeafarerHelp is a lifeline for seafarers who are in distress and need assistance. It is a vital link for people who are isolated and facing difficult circumstances. It is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Last year we assisted over 9700 seafarers and their families. For further information on SeafarerHelp see here.

ISWAN runs other projects that help seafarers. We provide important health information to seafarers on topics such as HIV prevention, healthy living, hygiene in the galley, and malaria. We run other projects to promote the welfare of seafarers worldwide.

ISWAN relies on charitable grants and donations for our work with seafarers and we need your help.

Can you donate today to help the lives of seafarers and their families? Thank you.

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

 

Published in About ISWAN

AR Cover jpegSeafarerHelp is the free 24 hour multi-lingual helpline for seafarers run by the International Seafarers' Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN). ISWAN have just produced the 2012 Annual Review for SeafarerHelp. During 2012 the SeafarerHelp team dealt with problems involving over 4,300 seafarers and their families. There was a 30% increase in the number of new cases handled by the SeafarerHelp team and an increase of 43% in the number of seafarers assisted copmared to the previous year. The most common problems seafarers faced were upaid wages, problems with repatriation, contractual problems, sub-standard conditions on board and health issues.

Most of the contacts that SeafarerHelp receives are referred on to specialist organisations for direct assistance. These include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and welfare organisations such as Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of The Sea, and the Sailors Society. Other agencies who assisted included national embassies, harbour authorities, and medical service providers.

Roger Harris, Executive Director of ISWAN, said "The SeafarerHelp team did a great job in 2012 working around the clock everyday of the year assisting seafarers. We wish to thank our funders and other supporters for helping to provide this vital lifeline for seafarers all over the world."Seafarerhelp poster

One case where SeafarerHelp provided assistance involved forty Filipino crew, who had not been paid, on two ships owned by the same company. Both ships had been arrested and were at anchorage for more than two months. SeafarerHelp put the crew in touch with the local ITF representative and local welfare organisations. While waiting for the ships to be sold, the SeafarerHelp team maintained regular contact between the seafarers and the various organisations involved. After three months the crew were paid and repatriated.

2012 at a glance:

  • On average 2.5 new cases were received by the SeafarerHelp team everyday
  • The average number of seafarers involved in each case was 4.7
  • There was a 30% increase in the number of new cases handled and an increase of 43% in the number of seafarers assisted over those dealt with in 2011
  • In addition to new cases the SeafarerHelp team was working with approximately 250 on-going cases at any given time
  • There has been a significant increase in the number of cases coming to the
  • SeafarerHelp helpline for each of the last three years and there is a further
  • increase in cases in the first three months of 2013
  • The number of reported ship abandonments showed a significant increase in2012 from the number reported in 2011
  • The most common problems seafarers raised were unpaid wages, problems overrepatriation, contractual problems, sub standard conditions onboard and health
  • issues
  • Of the 76 different nationalities assisted the largest number were Filipinos,followed by Ukrainians, Indians and Russians
  • While the largest group of seafarers contacting SeafarerHelp were fromdeveloping world countries, 8% came from European Union and other developedworld countries and 14% came from Commonwealth member countries
  • We were contacted from 102 different countries
  • Although many cases involved more than one referral agency most were initially referred to the ITF Inspectors, followed by the ITF Maritime Operations Section,the Missions to Seafarers and the Apostleship of The Sea
  • Initial contact from seafarers to SeafarerHelp usually involved mobile or landlinephone calls, but internet communications are increasingly used as the preferred medium for follow-up communication

The Annual Review can be downloaded below along with a poster advertising SeafarerHelp. For more posters & cards promoting SeafarerHelp email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Seafarers can contact SeafarerHelp 24 hours, 365 days per year in the following ways :

  • Telephone: 00 800 7323 2737 (Toll free)
  • SMS:+44 (0) 7624 818 405
  • Live chat: www.seafarerhelp.org
  • Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published in Latest News