Understanding the effects of COVID-19 on seafarers

Watch our webinar where international researchers and professionals talk about the effect of COVID-19 on seafarers.
international crew

The work of seafarers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been critical to ensure the global supply chain of essential goods and equipment. However, the recognition of seafarers as key workers is often being neglected, adding challenges to their regular occupational safety and health issues. This prompted researchers around the world to assess the impact of the pandemic on the wellbeing of seafarers.

Four panels of researchers and professionals in this field contributed to the discussion.


Dr. Michelle Grech, Manager Vessel Operations, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Australia.

Christine Field, Chief Executive Officer, Hunterlink Australia.


Panel 1

Dr. Birgit Pauksztat, Senior Lecturer in Business Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Dr. Michelle Grech, Manager Vessel Operations, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Rikke Bjerg Jensen, Senior Lecturer in Information Security, Information Security Group, Royal Holloway University of London, UK.

Dr. Momoko Kitada, Associate Professor of Maritime Education and Training, World Maritime University, Sweden.

A joint research team from four universities: the University of Queensland (Australia), Royal Holloway University of London (UK), the World Maritime University (Sweden), and Uppsala University (Sweden).

Panel one presents initial findings from a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of international seafarers. Over 700 seafarers responded. One of the key findings is the importance of connectivity to their families as well as institutional support.

Read the finalised report.

Panel 2 (recorded)

Dr. Helen Devereux, Lecturer in Maritime Management, Warsash Maritime School, Solent University, UK.

Dr. Emma Wadsworth, Academic Lead in Research, Solent University, UK.

From Solent University in the UK, panel 2 provides a preliminary analysis of their longitudinal survey of UK seafarers. It is highlighted that the impact of COVID-19 was found to be unequally felt by seafarers depending on their employment terms and conditions.

Panel 3 (recorded)

Dr. Ana Slišković, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Croatia.

From the University of Zadar in Croatia, panel 3 share the results from 752 international seafarers who stayed either on board or at home in early 2020 (March-May). The study reveals that prolongation of periods on board and at home represent serious threats to seafarers´ social, mental, physical and economic well-being.

Panel 4

Christine Field, Chief Executive Officer, Hunterlink Australia.

From Hunterlink in Australia, panel 4 shares the impact that COVID-19 is having on seafarers from the mental health specialists that are counselling seafarers on arrival in Australia. Hunterlink delivers mental health and wellbeing support to any international seafarer that is in an Australian port.

Specialising in the maritime industry, Hunterlink have a clear understanding of the impact that COVID has on this group of seafarers.

Last updated: 

Monday 21 December 2020