Crew Health: Advice for safe travel

Since June 2016 the Club has issued regular guidance concerning the enhancement and protection of crew health on board a vessel and during periods of shore leave.

Seafarers are travellers and are therefore exposed to the same health risks as all other travellers. The maritime industry has incorporated medicals, pre-employment health checks, vaccinations and international health regulations into its infrastructure.

However, the onus is on the individual seafarer to ensure that they have taken the necessary precautions to prepare for their upcoming voyage. The precautions include:

  • gathering information about the health hazards in the ports to be visited.
  • seeking advice from the company about the precautions that need to be taken.
  • visiting the company’s medical service, doctor or travel clinic and obtaining the necessary prescriptions, vaccinations and prophylactic (protective and preventive) medication.
  • visiting the dentist for a check-up, especially if the last check up dates back more than 6 months.
  • carrying appropriate medical information, such as details of any health conditions, allergies or  any medication currently prescribed, written in English.
  • carrying necessary travel documents such as blood group card, international vaccination certificate and allergy card or medical alert bracelet.

Guidance and materials to use for safe travel

The Club has partnered with the International Seafarers’ Welfare Assistance Network (ISWAN) to raise awareness of crew health and to assist our Members in mitigating against related incidents.

To that end, we are able to offer our Members two publications which are available to download and assist in providing seafarers with guidance to better prepare themselves for a seagoing trip. These guidelines can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page or by clicking the links below:

This article is one of a series of articles in which the Club shares guidance and practical tips to our Members to promote good crew health on board. All articles in this series can be viewed here.