The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) was among the winners announced at the 2021 SAFETY4SEA Virtual Awards on Tuesday 19th October.
The awards recognised the industry’s outstanding practices for Safety Excellence, Sustainability, Training, Technology, Initiative, COVID-19 Resilience, Personality and Leadership.
ISWAN received the 2021 SAFETY4SEA COVID-19 Resilience Award for assisting more than 44,000 seafarers worldwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. ISWAN has provided 24-hour support to crew through its free, multilingual helpline SeafarerHelp and provided financial assistance to hundreds of seafarers and their families. This includes 295 one-time financial grants of up to US$150* provided to Filipino seafarers and their families via the ISWAN Hardship Fund, which was launched in late 2020 and funded by ShipMoney through its ShipMoney Cares programme.
ISWAN has also supported stranded and abandoned seafarers overseas and facilitated the repatriation of seafarers from various countries around the world during lockdown. Almost 2,000 seafarers stranded during lockdown in Manila were provided with food supplies purchased using a grant from ISWAN’s Seafarers Emergency Fund. ISWAN’s regional team in India worked with numerous Indian missions in different countries to help seafarers stranded abroad return home, and the team has been coordinating a vaccination drive in association with Narayana Health and the Medica Group of Hospitals for seafarers across India since June 2021. More than 1,500 Indian seafarers have contacted ISWAN for help with arranging their first and second doses of the World Health Organization-approved COVID-19 vaccine.
ISWAN’s Chief Executive Officer Simon Grainge said: ‘We are honoured to receive the 2021 SAFETY4SEA COVID-19 Resilience Award. Seafarers and their families around the world have been among those most seriously impacted by the pandemic, and our team has worked tirelessly to make sure help and support are always available those who need it.’
A video of ISWAN’s achievements and acceptance of the award can be viewed here.
Seafarers and their families who need assistance can contact ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling +44 20 7323 2737, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.seafarerhelp.org for further contact channels including Live Chat.
*Grants of up to US$500 were originally awarded to applicants, but due to the large number of applications received by ISWAN, grants were later capped at US$150 in an effort to help the funds go as far as possible.