Throughout the year, the maritime transport industry has managed stay afloat, allowing food, medicine and other essential goods to be transported across the world, to stock the shelves even during the strictest lockdowns.
However, many seafarers were forced to stay at sea for several months longer than planned, sometimes for over a year: as 2020 comes to a close, the UN maritime agency (IMO), estimates that some 400,000 seafarers, from all over the world, are still on their ships, even though their contracts have ended, unable to be repatriated. Another 400,000 are thought to be stuck at home due to the restrictions, unable to join ships and provide for their families.
‘We didn’t sign up for this’
The mental health of seafarers has been sorely tested, as Matt Forster,