SAILORS’ Society’s Crisis Response Network has received funding from The Seafarers’ Charity and The TK Foundation, bolstering its support for thousands of seafarers during crises.

The Crisis Response Network is a free service supporting seafarers and their families during traumatic incidents such as abandonment, piracy, accidents, and natural disasters.

Operated by 37 trained crisis responders, the global service has been running for six years. The dominant issue dealt with over the past two years has been piracy.

Sailors’ Society CEO Sara Baade said the crisis response team is also trained to seafarers recover physically and mentally from traumatic incidents.

“We offer frontline trauma care, providing for basic physical and psychological needs, recovery and rehabilitation – and ultimately we support survivors to reintegrate into their communities and back into their jobs.”

Ms Baade said the service also serves affected seafarers’ families and their seafaring communities.

“We have seen this with the support we provide following a natural disaster like the recent Typhoon Odette or the humanitarian crisis emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“We’re extremely grateful to The Seafarers’ Charity and The TK Foundation for their generous support, enabling this vital service to continue for seafarers in times of greatest need.”

The Crisis Response Network recently supported five Indian crewmembers who were wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for six months. The team eventually secured their release and repatriation.

“Piracy rates are the top issue for seafarers using the Crisis Response Network,” The Seafarers’ Charity CEO Catherine Spencer said.

“We have long funded organisations that support seafarers affected by piracy, which is an extreme example of the challenges seafarers face.

“There are, of course, many other difficulties at sea including abandonment, harassment and violence.

“The helpline remains a crucial pathway to assistance for seafarers that we are proud to fund under our strategic outcome of better working lives at sea.”

The TK Foundation’s maritime program officer Dennis Teleaven said the Crisis Response Network aligns with their goal to support the welfare of seafarers and their families around the world.

“We recognise that, with the pandemic significantly disrupting the lives of seafarers’ and their families, Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network represents a vital resource in these difficult times.”