Maritime welfare charity the Mission to Seafarers (MtS) has revealed its new Happy at Sea app, which will provide easier, centralised access to its support services. 

The app was launched during the Nor-Shipping 2023 exhibition and is part of the charity’s push to make it easier for seafarers to access services to improve their welfare and mental health, especially whilst at sea. 

MtS director of programme Ben Bailey said the charity’s goal with the app was to enhance the lives of seafarers around the world: “Since the onset of the pandemic, we have witnessed a significant surge in requests for support through digital channels, be it through our CrewHelp service, local Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups. 

“This app will enable seafarers to easily track their requests, while also empowering our teams to work more strategically within the ports.” 

App functions include the Flying Angel AI chatbot, which will be able to provide responses to frequently asked questions, a global directory of MtS teams and the ability to order items like SIM cards. 

Seafarers who use the app, which has been designed with low file size for an easier download experience during poor connection at sea, will also be able to pre-order services from the charity such as a port welfare officer visit and private counselling sessions from trained professionals. 

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The pre-ordering function will allow seafarers to access those services even quicker when stopping at one of the over 200 ports where MtS has a presence. 

The free-to-download app was developed after funding from DNV Maritime, Cargill Ocean Transportation and The Seafarers’ Charity. 

Cargill global operations and supply chain director at Cargill Eman Abdalla said: “At Cargill Ocean Transportation, making zero harm shipping a reality is our mission and indeed it all starts with the crew’s wellbeing. 

“Therefore, supporting the Happy at Sea app and The Mission to Seafarers was the perfect opportunity to give seafarers access to a multitude of services that can only improve and promote their well-being.” 

App users will also be able to complete the MtS’ Seafarers Happiness Index survey, which keeps track of the main issues affecting seafarers and their well-being whilst at sea and when onshore. 

MtS’ announcement of the new app comes shortly after the Q1 2023 results of the happiness index revealed that overall seafarer happiness was down last year, with access to welfare services one of the main areas of concern.