ADMIRALTY / MARITIME LAW

Emotional and psychological damage can lead to claims

| Dec 6, 2019 | Maritime Law |

There are two sides to the perception of the seafaring mariner. There is the swashbuckling conquistador with a girl in every port.

And then there is the guy who is struggling to hold his domestic situation together at all costs. Or perhaps the one whose transitory lifestyle has never been conducive to any long-term relationships.

You may be startled to learn that over 25% of those who work aboard seafaring vessels display symptoms of depression. Even worse, few seek help for these problems.

Yale University partnered with Sailors’ Society, an international maritime charity, to study over 1,000 seafarers. More than a quarter of the study’s participants reported that, on multiple days over a 14-day period, they felt depressed, hopeless or down.

Disparate factors contributed to these negative feelings, including length of their employment contracts, familial isolation and their dietary options and portions.

As stated by the deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sailors’ Society, “Seafarers spend months on end at sea, facing some of the toughest conditions of any workforce – isolation, cramped living quarters, noise, heat, storms – sometimes they’re not even able to stomach the food on board.”

Obviously, there can be many circumstances at play that affect the crew during a stint on a seafaring vessel. Any claims for compensation for psychological or emotional trauma that occurred while at sea must be proven.

Witnesses can corroborate allegations, so if this was your unfortunate experience, make sure to take notes. Also, follow up with conversations with co-workers who were aware of the adverse conditions from which a claim for damages might have arisen.