News and Media

SeafarerHelp is a free, confidential, multilingual helpline for seafarers and their families, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When seafarers who have been abandoned contact the helpline, the SeafarerHelp team can provide support and assistance. Last July, six crew members from India and Pakistan contacted SeafarerHelp with multiple serious issues. The Captain and the Chief Officer had absconded from their ship in…
The UN Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) held its 20th Plenary session from 5th - 7th July 2017 in Mauritius. ISWAN attended the important meeting of stakeholders from across the globe and took part in various discussions especially on issues of welfare provisions for seafarers and their families hijacked by Somali pirates. ISWAN’s South Asia representative, Mr Chirag Bahri, briefed…
20th July 2017 The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has successfully supported the crew in three ship abandonment cases in UK waters that show a culture close to modern day slavery in some parts of the shipping industry. 'The regulation exists to prevent this abuse from happening but some people seem to think it doesn’t apply to them,' commented ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel.…
It was a full house at the first ‘Maritime Silk Road Ports & Seafarers Seminar’ held in Shanghai on 7th July. Organised by the ISWAN International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme, the event was attended by over 100 representatives from the Shanghai regional maritime sector. Frank and open discussions were held on better ways to support and manage port welfare in order to improve seafarers…
The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP Maritime) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) so that the two organisations can work closer together to help improve seafarers’ safety and welfare. ISWAN regularly hears from seafarers about unsafe working practices and in future will offer to assist seafarers to complete the initial report to CHIRP…
5th July 2017 Continuing decline in the number of reported incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery against ships has been revealed in the second quarter piracy report of the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), published yesterday. According to the report, the first half of 2017 saw a total of 87 incidents reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre compared with 97 for the same period of the previous…
Maritime trade union Nautilus International is calling for a shake-up to the industry to provide good quality, low cost internet access for all. A survey of nearly 2,000 seafarers and shipping industry leaders by the maritime professionals’ trade union Nautilus International has found that fewer than one in ten (6%) seafarers has sufficient internet connectivity for video calls when at sea, despite often being away…
ISWAN has produced a self-help guide for seafarers’ mental health to complement its free, 24/7 helpline, SeafarerHelp. Working away at sea with limited means of communication and little or no shore leave means that it can be difficult for seafarers to access the emotional support they might need. Forming part of ISWAN’s Seafarers’ Health Information Programme (SHIP) and overseen by Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Dr Pennie…
We were delighted to interview Ankita Srivastava, a former seafarer of 11 years and India’s first female Chief Engineer who sailed on foreign going ships. Ankita, originally from Lucknow in India, currently works for Teekay in their London office as a Voyage Manager in Commercial Operations. She looks back on her time at sea favourably and offers future seafarers constructive advice about learning from difficult…
Roger HarrisExecutive Director of ISWAN26th June 2017 It should go without saying in the maritime industry that 'Seafarers Matter.' We know that without seafarers half of the world would starve while the other half would freeze. Seafarers do matter, but if this is the case, why in 2017 are seafarers still being abandoned, mistreated, kidnapped and held hostage by pirates, bullied and treated as commodities?…
26th June 2017 Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Director Generals, Ambassadors and other government representatives as well as non-governmental organisations and professional individuals from over 50 States around the world, near and far, crowded into the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday to honour seafarers in the run up to the annual Day of the Seafarer on 25 June and to mark…