Changing Tack On Yacht Crew Welfare

The Seafarers’ Charity is committed to raising awareness and enhancing the provision of welfare support for superyacht crew. The Seafarers’ Charity has awarded funding for a partnership welfare project between The Mission to Seafarers and UK Sailing Academy (UKSA) to establish a Welfare Hub for superyacht crew in Antibes, France.

The funding will support the recruitment of a Mission to Seafarers’ Chaplain with skills in mental health awareness and suicide prevention and a UKSA Welfare and Career Development Manager who will support careers and promote and deliver mental health awareness and wellbeing training for yacht crew to help them to recognise and develop skills to look after themselves and others while working at sea. These roles will work closely with Yacht Crew Help – a 24/7 multilingual helpline run by the International Seafarers Welfare & Assistance Network (ISWAN) – to provide integrated welfare support for crew. ISWAN will also receive funding from The Seafarers’ Charity for a new Project Manager role that will take forward the development of resources and information identified by the Changing Tack Working Group as necessary to support the welfare of yacht crew.

The Changing Tack on Yacht Crew Welfare Working Group has been instrumental in guiding these new developments. At a recent Webinar the Working Group shared research and evidence of issues affecting the welfare of superyacht crew and called on others to get involved in supporting an improvement in welfare conditions for superyacht crew. The webinar recording is available on The Seafarers’ Charity’s YouTube channel.

Ben Willows, CEO at UKSA said,

‘The Changing Tack on Yacht Crew Welfare working group started last May with a group of passionate industry professionals who recognised the issues facing crew welfare – but, more importantly, wanted to do something about it.  Since then, we have collated significant research on crew wellbeing.

At UKSA, we see the increase of issues crew are facing every day, the demand on support from our welfare team continues to dramatically increase, and the type of issues facing our students is changing.

This webinar highlighted the stark facts and some shocking stories from those with first-hand experience about their time in the industry and more about what we are recommending we can all do to improve the conditions for crew, leading to better wellbeing.’

Simon Grainge, CEO at ISWAN said,

‘Working in collaboration, our charities will be offering practical and emotional support to crew, helping them to deal with welfare issues. The impact will be happier crew, increased retention and greater awareness of policies and practices to support crew.  We see the Welfare Hub in France and these new welfare roles as crucial for developing greater understanding of welfare issues across the commercial yacht industry, enabling the Changing Tack group of industry leaders to shift the culture towards improved welfare and mental health.’

Steve Morgan, Regional Director for Europe at the Mission to Seafarers said,

‘This exciting collaboration will allow The Mission to Seafarers to provide vital support to an underrepresented group of seafarers: superyacht crew. Across 200+ ports in 50 countries, 365 days a year, the Mission stands ready to meet the welfare needs of all seafarers. This initiative ensures that we can meet the needs of superyacht crew as well as those working on other vessels.’

Anyone wishing to know more about the initiatives and plans of the Changing Tack on Yacht Crew Welfare Working Group should contact Georgia Allen at ISWAN on

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