A crisis appeal for crew welfare support has been launched by maritime charity Sailors' Society amid mounting concern over safety after attacks on merchant ships in the Red Sea.
While much has been reported on supply chain issues and the financial costs of rerouting ships, there is an acute human cost with seafarers caught up in the conflict, the charity points out.
Seafarers simply doing their job transporting more than '90% of everything by sea' now face the very real danger of explosive drones and missiles. Shipping companies have also been calling Sailors' Society's Crisis Response Network to request mental health and wellbeing support, says the Society.
Sailors' Society CEO Sara Baade said: 'Seafarers did not sign up to be shot at. Any seafarer approaching the Red Sea today is going to be extremely anxious, and diverting around the Horn of Africa instead brings its own challenges with the tropical cyclone that has pounded Mauritius and fear of piracy around Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea. At the very least they will be delayed returning home to loved ones who they have already been separated from for many months.'
The Society has a 24/7 Crisis Response Network for all seafarers in need right now, faced with situations they never expected to endure, and can also support their families.
- To donate, please go to: sailors-society.org/crisis-appeal
Nautilus members with concerns should call their national branch, or contact Nautilus 24/7 helpline outside European office hours. With input from Nautilus, the UK and Netherlands have recently updated their high-risk area agreements to include the Red Sea, meaning that seafarers who are covered by these have rights to avoid the area without losing their jobs.