A group of maritime entities have joined forces to build a digital platform aimed at improving the emotional well-being of the world’s 1.7m seafarers.
The Safebridge CrewCare app – jointly developed by volunteer group Container Shipping Supporting Seafarers (CSSS), maritime EdTech company Safebridge, data analytics company Motion Ventures, and the Universities of Manchester and Plymouth – encourages seafarers to open up about their feelings and thoughts to mitigate the risk of depression and suicide.
In 2017, the UK P&I Club revealed that suicide was the top cause of seafarers’ deaths, accounting for 15% of all fatalities at sea.
The app facilitates crew managers’ ability to monitor the status of the seafarers’ well-being, general health, and Covid-19 risks but also gives them the power to take immediate action and offer direct support to those in need.
The app incorporates a professionally qualified questionnaire based on techniques medical practitioners use to make decisions when presented with a patient’s symptoms. An algorithm rates the multi-choice answers given to rate the mood of the seafarer from 1 (low risk) to 10.
Philip Eastell, CSSS founder and the driving force behind the CrewCare initiative, said: “Where concern exists there is now an opportunity for seafarers to get help. The app is a very low-key diagnostics tool set up to ensure that those seafarers struggling to cope receive the care they need.”
The app combines features and functionalities derived from Motion Ventures and Safebridge platforms to offer a single central point for assessing, monitoring, and responding to seafarers’ health and well-being needs.
It also features an integrated communications function and affords access to the 24h International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) helpline SeafarerHelp.