The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP Maritime) have entered into an MoU so that the two organizations 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 to highlight them. The charity hopes to be particularly helpful for seafarers whose first language is not English.
CHIRP is regularly told by seafarers about personal and employment problems and will now ask them if they want to be put in contact with ISWAN's SeafarerHelp team. If so, a SeafarerHelp officer will contact the seafarer to offer assistance and counseling if necessary. Earlier this month, ISWAN released a self-help guide for seafarers' mental health to complement its free, 24/7 helpline, SeafarerHelp.
Suicide rates among seafarers have more than tripled since 2014 and are now the most common cause of death at sea, according to figures from the UK P&I Club.
By working together, CHIRP and ISWAN believe they will help to ensure that seafarers' safety and welfare are given a high priority.