Inmarsat has worked closely with ISWAN and other maritime charities to ensure that seafarers stay connected without the burden of additional financial anxiety.
Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has announced initiatives for seafarer wellbeing in response to Covid-19. These initiatives include a collaboration with ISWAN (International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network) and maritime charities, the launch of a new chatcard and the wider roll-out of a Covid-19 video telemedicine call service.
Inmarsat is now offering crew access to ISWANs SeafarerHelp portal and live chat function via the companys new onboard WiFi portal, Fleet Hotspot, as well as continuing to offer free voice phone calls to the service. It is also providing satellite phones to Port Chaplains in ports where a number of seafarers are stranded and have no access to the internet.
SeafarerHelp is ISWANs free, confidential, multilingual helpline, which offers support and assistance to seafarers and their families around the world. The helpline service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and seafarers can get in touch via a range of contact methods including Live Chat, e-mail and telephone.
Inmarsat is also working with crew healthcare specialist Vikand and software platform provider FrontM to provide a free Covid-19 video call service with a trained health professional. The service is now live and available on over 150 vessels with further 1,000-plus vessels in the pipeline.
The new service ensures that users of Inmarsats high-speed Fleet Xpress service have 24/7 access to video call Vikands staff for information to help navigate Covid-19 related, medical questions.
By facilitating access to timely information for a vessel, client uncertainty is reduced, their decisions are more informed, and actions can be taken faster by clients to help mitigate and resolve risks.
Inmarsat is also offering a voice call discount offer to its retail customers using FleetBroadband ChatCard voice services and to wholesale partners offering FleetBroadband voice calls under the legacy Crew Calling SQT brand. In addition, it recently launched its ChatCard services for Fleet Xpress with an introductory discount that will be available until the end of July.
Commenting on the initiatives, Roger Harris, ISWANs Executive Director, said: We are delighted to be working with Inmarsat to bring our helpline service to even more seafarers during this crisis. As you can imagine SeafarerHelp has been extremely busy over the last three months as crew face the impact of being stranded onboard and the loss of employment. Offering free access to SeafarerHelp on Fleet Hotspot will make it easier for the crew onboard these vessels to access support and assistance wherever they are in the world, day or night.
Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime, remarked: Inmarsat recognises the unprecedented situation facing seafarers and their need for certainty in communication, as the global maritime industry responds to the challenges of COVID-19. These new initiatives, together with those we have already launched, alleviate one of the core concerns crews face as they go about the business of keeping world trade moving day-in, day-out.