The Internet has benefited a lot of people with its convenience and far-reaching capabilities to connect everybody and find information easily. This is especially true in the case of seafarers. The Internet makes the otherwise routinary lives of maritime professionals easier to deal with. Here are some of the ways the Internet is a seaman’s best friend.
Easier to contact loved ones
Hiring and retention of skilled crews are one of the biggest obstacles facing the industry. Today’s generation of seamen look for ways to be connected all the time and not having Internet access can be quite trying for them. With the Internet, seafarers can contact their loved ones more conveniently, while also boosting employee retention significantly. This gives seafarers peace of mind that they have a way to check on their friends and families easily.
For monitoring fuel usage
Another reason why the Internet is a seaman’s best friend is that they can address problems of fuel consumption easier. Oftentimes, ships do not have technical expertise available on board to address the problem. Having Internet access can alert engineers on the shore of a problem, which allows them to offer a solution quicker. In these cases, it’s important to quickly determine if a ship is burning the right amount of fuel and if it is almost exceeding its allowed fuel consumption. Not having Internet access can prevent quick action.
For health and safety emergency purposes
The working conditions of a seafarer include two risks: poor health and endangerment due to piracy and other threats. Having Internet access can help the people on board consult physicians on shore to determine the best course of action for any medical emergencies. At the same time, Internet access can also help alert law enforcement of any potential piracy threats through surveillance.
More efficient navigation
Internet access in a ship means up-to-the-minute, precise routing, and weather information. This helps both seafarers on board and personnel figure out where the ship is in astonishing detail, then transmit information back to land. This is important in case any of the emergency situations when the ship needs to be tracked.
For better working conditions and mental health
Professor Helen Sampson of Cardiff University’s Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) mentioned in an interview with Rappler the ways that the Internet was changing life on board and emphasized its positive effects on mental health. Sampson said, “A ship is a very expensive piece of equipment and you really don’t want people who are psychologically unstable. And it’s a very difficult life. If there’s no psychological compensation to the seafarers, I think you’ve got a lot of mental instability and it’s dangerous.” Having Internet access helps keep seafarers sane amid the routine of their work and the distance from their loved ones.
Additionally, Sampson highlighted the importance of having other social spaces and entertainment facilities to keep seafarers entertained and so they can have other forms of pleasure aside from their mobile devices and laptops.
Despite all of the benefits of Internet access on a ship, it’s still not implemented en masse. This is partly due to the cost needed to implement such a feature. However, considering the benefits it has on seafarers both mentally and professionally, a lot of shipping companies should highly consider giving this to their employees. This way, their maritime training in the Philippines will be worth it because they can enjoy these perks as a reward for the hard conditions their job entails.