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A new resource has been launched to support crew in safely finding paid or voluntary work in the yachting industry.
The International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has worked with experts across the yachting industry, including Nautilus International, to produce personal safety,precautions for job-seeking yacht crew.
This document aims to empower crew by providing the guidance and tools necessary to make informed, aware, boundaried and safe decisions about their next role.
'Nautilus is honoured to have been involved with this project,' said yacht sector organiser Cheryl McCann. ''We are committed to supporting a successful superyacht industry and ensuring that crew welfare is upheld at all times. Bullying, harassment, abuse and discrimination are unacceptable in any form, and we believe that this guide will be invaluable to those wanting to start a maritime career, as well as those professionals already working at sea.'
Other organisations that provided knowledge and expertise in the development of the resource include Bond TM, MHG Insurance, Safer Waves, Sailing Safely for Women (SSW), Salute Her, Wilsonhalligan and Yachts Mermaids.
Why is the guidance necessary?
The resource was developed in direct response to an increase in calls and messages to ISWAN's free, confidential 24-hour helpline Yacht Crew Help, from crew who had experienced serious personal safety issues including bullying, harassment and sexual violence whilst working onboard yachts.
Many crew had secured their roles through unregulated means such as social media and crewing websites, and many were part of what is sometimes termed the 'nautical hitchhiker' community.
In 2022, almost a quarter (24.3%) of yacht crew who contacted Yacht Crew Help about mental health challenges (16.6% of all issues) also raised an experience of some form of abuse.