ISWAN updates crew safety guidelines
The seafarer association has released a new safety resource in response to rising reports of harassment and violence…
The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has launched a new resource to support crew in safely finding paid or voluntary work in the yachting industry. The Personal Safety Precautions For Job-Seeking Yacht Crew publication aims to provide guidance for seafarers to make informed and safe decisions when searching for a new role.
“I am so proud to see this resource published because of what it represents – a coming together of those in the industry who recognise the seriousness of these issues and want to see long-term change,” says Georgia Allen, Projects and Relationships Manager, ISWAN.
The resource was developed in direct response to an increase in reports of personal safety issues to ISWAN’s helpline, Yacht Crew Help. These instances included bullying, harassment and sexual violence whilst working on board yachts. Allen adds that she is thankful for those who stepped forward to share their experiences and expertise to make the resource as comprehensive as possible.
“I am hopeful that with continued support, we can reach as many crew as possible with this guidance and if we prevent even one individual from going through a negative personal safety experience on board then I will class it a success,” she says.
According to ISWAN, a large number of crew who experienced abuse secured their roles through unregulated means such as social media and crewing websites. In 2022, almost a quarter (24.3%) of yacht crew who contacted Yacht Crew Help about mental health challenges, which accounted for 16.6% of all issues, also raised an experience of some form of abuse.
The guidelines also detail how to find reputable agencies and practise safe dock-walking, as well as highlighting individual rights and what checks to make before embarking. The resource also addresses personal safety while on board and what to do in the case of an incident, and provides a list of organisations which offer support to crew.
Other organisations that contributed to the project were Bond TM, MHG Insurance, Safer Waves, Sailing Safely for Women (SSW), Salute Her, Wilsonhalligan, Yachts Mermaids and Nautilus International.
“We are committed to supporting a successful superyacht industry and ensuring that crew welfare is upheld at all times,” says Cheryl McCann, Yacht Sector Organiser, Nautilus International. “Bullying, harassment, abuse and discrimination are unacceptable in any form, and we believe that this guide will be invaluable to those wanting to start a maritime career, as well as those professionals already working at sea.”
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