Press Release: Dealing with seafarer stress - UK P&I comments

Sophia Bullard, Crew Health Programme Director at UK P&I Club, comments on how to deal with stress aboard ships."We all encounter stressful events in our personal, professional or social life. Stress is defined as "a negative emotional experience accompanied by physiological, cognitive and behavioural changes and responses aimed to reduce or change the stressful event or effects of it" (Baum, 1990). Indeed, how well we cope with stress is mediated by our appraisal of the stressor and the resources available to deal effectively with it.

"Seafaring is a strenuous occupation and seafarers are exposed to an increased number of work related stressors: fatigue, long hours, monotony, noise, vibration, temperature changes, a multinational environment, limited recreation, isolation and long periods away from home. Most seafarers can suffer from moderate to high stress that can lead to a vicious cycle of unhealthy behaviours that are difficult to escape: sleep disturbance, unhealthy eating and weight gain, causing mental and physical ailments.

"Physical symptoms of stress include: anger, irritability, fatigue, nervousness, lack of interest or motivation, anxiety, sadness, muscular tension, faintness, dizziness, headaches, indigestion, stomach aches, 

appetite changes, erectile dysfunction, change in sex drive and teeth grinding.

"With this in mind, we offer some tips to deal with stress in the workplace: 

  • Identify the strengths and skills that increase your confidence
  • Assess, recognise and develop your creative resources: talents, traits, skills or competencies
  • Use cognitive reappraisal when evaluating a negative event
  • Engage and interact with other people on-board. Do not isolate yourself
  • Establish an open communication channel with somebody you trust to discuss your difficulties or concerns
  • Do not let negative emotions overtake you. When something bothers you, address it immediately - don't turn it into rage, sadness or resentment
  • Be realistic about your expectations
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, maintaining a sleep and rest schedule, exercising regularly and partaking in recreational activities
  • Keep a diary to note your thoughts and feelings
  • Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques

"Practicing mindful meditation on a daily basis can reduce stress and stress-related symptoms. Mindfulness can help us discover the resources we need to cope with stressful events in the present and building on positive experiences can alleviate or ease the burden of stressful and difficult moments." -End   -

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the original author or contributor. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the UK P&I Club.

For further details, please contact:

Jonathan Atkins / Alastair Doyle 

Four Broadgate


+44 (0) 20 3697 4200

Notes to Editors

The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1865 the UK P&I Club insures over 239 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. 'A (Stable)' rated by Standard & Poor's with free reserves and hybrid capital of $558m, the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure 'best in class' underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.

The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.

Thomas Miller

Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services. 

Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller's origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations. 

Principal activities include:

  • Management services for transport and professional indemnity insurance mutuals
  • Investment management for institutions and private clients
  • Professional services including legal services, claims and captive management
  • Managing General Agency 

Staff Author