Inmarsat continues to ramp up the firm's response to COVID-19, with additional initiatives to improve superyacht crew well-being — these initiatives include further collaboration with ISWAN (International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network) and maritime charities and the launch of a new chatcard.
As the pandemic has unfolded, Inmarsat has worked closely with welfare organization ISWAN and the major maritime charities to ensure that crew stay connected without the burden of additional financial anxiety. Inmarsat is now offering crew access to ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp portal and live chat function via the company’s new onboard Wi-Fi portal, Fleet Hotspot, as well as continuing to offer free voice phone calls to the service. It also continues to provide satellite phones to Port Chaplains in ports where a number of crew are stranded and have no access to the internet.
SeafarerHelp is ISWAN’s 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 continues to provide 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.
Roger Harris, ISWAN’s Executive Director, said the company is delighted to be working with Inmarsat to bring the helpline service to even more seafarers during this crisis. 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 crew on board these vessels to access support and assistance wherever they are in the world, day or night.
Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime, added that the company recognizes 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 the company has already launched, alleviate one of the core concerns crews face.