The way officers respond in the wake of a crisis could save crew lives – that will be the message from a trauma expert when he addresses a conference of shipping companies next month.
Alexander Dimitrevitch, Sailors’ Society’s regional crisis response co-ordinator, is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with piracy survivors. He will share some of his expertise at the Wellness at Sea Conference on January 17 in Singapore.
Alexander runs Sailors’ Society’s crisis response training for professionals working on the front line with seafarers, such as maritime officers and HR departments.
He said: “The vast majority of trauma survivors will cope without any particular psychological intervention, providing they get support from those around them, such as family or colleagues. These people need to know the things they should and shouldn’t do to support them.
“We want to equip officers to be able to identify people on board who need help and to know how to organise support for them.
“Our aim is to give them a simple education – one of them might be able to save the life of a colleague.”
The Wellness at Sea Conference, organised by Sailors’ Society in conjunction with Alexony, and sponsored by Inmarsat, Dorian LPG and Thome Group, will take place at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
The conference is an industry first due to its focus on crew welfare, addressing the key factors affecting seafarers’ on-board health and well-being. The keynote speaker will be Warwick Norman, Chief Executive Officer of Rightship.
It will offer holistic ways to improve crew wellness and will explore how this will not only benefit safety and efficiency, but also contribute directly to the financial health of the business.
Stuart Rivers, CEO of Sailors’ Society, said: “Loneliness, fatigue, stress and depression are a huge scale problem at sea, which can make the difference between safe transit and an incident with a major cost to the company.
“It is crucial ship owners make a significant investment into the welfare of their crew.”