Sailors’ Society, one of the largest seafarer support charities operating internationally, has developed ‘Chapplaincy’, a smartphone app with the support of Augustea Group.
Chapplaincy enables real-time activity reporting and maintains a history of ship visits and support provided to seafarers. Data can then be accessed by chaplains in other ports and subject to confidentiality and data protection policies, can be used to provide ongoing care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage.
The app has access to global ship tracking data from MarineTraffic, which helps chaplains see which vessels are in port and those due to arrive. The result is more effective use of time and improved co-ordination with other welfare organisations.
The charity is now developing a version for seafarers, enabling them to make contact in advance of arrival at port in order to access welfare services.
Sailors’ Society chief executive Stuart Rivers told Splash that growing demand for internet connections at sea was something shipowners could no longer ignore. His comments dovetail with thoughts from seafarers carried in another Splash article today, as part of a special magazine on satellite communications produced in association with Inmarsat.
“We can certainly see the trend of strong demand from seafarers for better connectivity at sea. The new communications services already available and those coming online suggest that demand can only grow, especially if prices continue to fall. Because many seafarers don’t yet have that kind of access, our job remains a vital physical process; making chaplains available where they are needed. The Chapplaincy app will help us keep these seafarers connected with home and with other agencies, creating for the first time, true ‘port to port’ welfare,” Rivers told Splash.