Technology such as video calls, emails, mobile devices could actually be more of a hinderance than a help to life at sea, the North P&I Club has warned.
“For some seafarers, having easy access to friends, family and their ongoing domestic problems could lead to increased anxiety compared to the traditional clean break of departure,” Tony Baker, the Club’s loss prevention director, said.
“Rather than chat, play games or even watch videos with other crew members, it is now all too easy to for seafarers to retreat to their cabins with their mobile devices,” he continued. “It is in the general interests of the ship operator, vessel and crew to ensure a decent level of social interaction onboard.”
Other devices such as 3D scanners and printers are also being used to clone and replace the security seals that have been broken after criminals have raided shipping containers, the Club added.
“The seals can be made within 10 minutes and include all the relevant identification marks, so thefts may remain undetected until containers reach their final destinations,” deputy loss prevention director Colin Gillespie said in a release.
“It is important for shipowners and seafarers not to let digital technology completely replace vital shipboard activities such as social interaction, teambuilding and a hands-on, common-sense approach to safety and security.”