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  The United Kingdom is an island nation relying on international Seafarers for 95% of all our imports and exports. Half a billion tonnes of goods are handled through UK seaports every year.Without seafarers support our nation would come to a standstill and suffer severe hardship.

   Here at the Felixstowe & Haven Port Seafarer Services (FHPSS) we endeavour to give Seafarers respite from some of the hardships they endure whilst at sea. A typical seafarer can spend 12 months away from their loved ones with no communication for weeks or months at a time whilst sailing across vast oceans.

 The conception that seafarers live in an adventurous environment and have a globe-trotting lifestyle could not be further from the truth. It is more nomadic and hectic with many wishing for a more stable standard of life especially post marriage or the birth of a child.The simple things we take for granted such as relaxing with our families, taking children to school or just walking your dog is not possible. When you work and live in confined spaces there is nowhere to hide from ship politics or conflicts. Sooner or later it affects mental well being, especially as ship crews get smaller and working hours get longer and crew shore time is not a priority. Other problems can include running the gauntlet of modern-day pirates who kidnap, terrorise and hold Seafarers for ransom. It has been recorded that some seafarers have been held in captivity for up to three years.There are cases of seafarers being abandoned with no money and left to fend for themselves. Certain ports will not allow ships crew to leave the confines of their vessel and other ports are just too dangerous to leave the safety of the ship. With a serious lack of social life working in confined spaces working to deadlines, one simple problem thousands of miles away from home can lead to a feeling of emptiness, homesickness and depression. The number one cause of death amongst seafarers sadly is suicide. 

 The Felixstowe Haven Ports Seafarers Service (FHPSS) is one of many organisations including the Port of Felixstowe that looks out for the Seafarers well-being. FHPSS offers the simplest of support which is usually just a break from the ship routine right through to full on support which may involve spiritual, ship mediation or help to contact home.

 The FHPSS salutes the brave international Seafaring community and warmly welcomes them to the United Kingdom. 




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