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Russian-Ukraine conflict affect relationships onboard

The latest Seafarers Happiness Index data revealed morale and mood onboard hit an all-time low

Its findings for Q1 2022 saw rising tides of issues amongst crew onboard against the backdrop of the Russian-Ukraine conflict. Strained relationships between crew of both nationalities were worrying.

Estrangement compromising safety
The index showed the overall happiness average plunged to 5.85 from 6.41 compared to Q4 2021. It is also the lowest level of satisfaction recorded across 8 years. The findings added it was also the second time that happiness levels across all the questions have fallen. Seafarers who responded to the survey revealed they are both worried about their families as well as the prevailing tensions onboard. While many hoped all crew would remain impartial, things unfortunately did not turn out so despite efforts to remain professional.

There were reports of Masters and Chief Officers unable to exchange work-related information or refusing to speak to each other, as well as Russian and Ukrainian crews feeling increasingly unable to work together. Russians and Ukrainians make up about 15 per cent of the global workforce, and there is also a knock-on effect for a far wider sea going population. News outlets providing updates of the conflict exacerbated the tensions, resulting in factions creating more discord.

The combination of both COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine conflict have damaged the camaraderie onboard – worsening the distress felt by crew. Seafarers also shared concerns about abandonment, as they were apprehensive about wage payment. Others wrote of their anger and frustration about contracts being automatically extended despite being desperate to return home. Q1 2022 has been nothing less than a revelation of the harsh realities seafarers face – equally vulnerable to the implications of geopolitical tensions.

Crewing Online Media Team
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