Smartphones are an important part of the modern seafarer’s life. It allows seafarers to stay in touch with their families, friends, and loved ones while at sea. Seafaring is not an easy job, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication.
Having a smartphone helps seafarers to keep up with their duties as well as take care of personal matters. Many companies and organizations have developed mobile apps for seafarers.
With so many apps available to help seafarers get more out of their devices, it can be difficult to know which ones will make a difference. Here, we have listed ten free mobile apps every seafarer should have on their smartphone.
1) ITF Seafarers
ITF Seafarers is a great app for seafarers who want to find information about their rights and obligations while away from land. The app provides seafarers with all the necessary details regarding their working conditions and rights.
Seafarers can use this app to search for information regarding vessel information, contact details of ITF inspections/ affiliates, and ITF helplines. Information on the app comes from the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) centralized system. This ensures that the information is accurate and up-to-date.
The app also contains a list of ITF-affiliated unions in different countries. According to the ITF’s website, you can use the app to “find out if your ship is ITF approved, communicate with ITF Inspectors and affiliated maritime trade unions directly, or contact the ITF Helpline if you need help.
2) ITF Shore Leave
Shore Leave is a new app developed by the ITF. The app is designed to provide seafarers with useful information about seafarer centers around the world. According to the website, seafarers’ centers provide advice, someone to talk to, facilities to contact home, and a place where you can relax away from the ship.
There is no need for internet access to use this app, and it can be used offline. Contacts are stored in a seafarer’s phone and are accessible at any time. In the app, there’s a raffle system using a QR code. Seafarers receive an electronic raffle ticket when they visit centers listed in the app. The winner is selected every four months.
The maps are another helpful feature of ITF Shore Leave. Users can pin their location on a map and use the map while online or offline.
3) Cargo Handbook
Cargo Handbook is a simple app developed by BMT Surveys. BMT Surveys helps make seafarers’ lives easier by providing them with all the necessary tools and knowledge to keep their cargo safe on ships.
The app is designed to give seafarers detailed information about various aspects of cargo operations, such as shipping lines, ports, etc. Users have access to a large amount of carriage guidelines for more than 800 commodities. This helps them know what conditions are required for different types of cargo.
In addition, Cargo Handbook also offers information about the optimal conditions for shipping a product. For example, users can know about the optimum temperature range for transporting food items or how long a food container should be kept at a certain temperature before it’s transported. This helps reduce food spoilage and quality loss during transit.
4) Wellness at Sea
Wellness at Sea is an app designed to provide seafarers with useful tips and advice regarding their well-being while working on board a ship. The app is developed by Sailor’s Society, a UK-based charity that works around the world with merchant seafarers.
Wellness at Sea uses an approach that focuses on different aspects of well-being and not just physical health. The app coaches seafarers to think about their own wellness in five key areas of life: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual. It’s essentially a companion app for the “Wellness at Sea” program.
The tool helps empower seafarers to monitor and take control of their wellness while at sea. As such, it can be used as a self-assessment tool or as a coach to help you make positive changes in a seafarer’s lifestyle.
5) First Aid App
While the First Aid app isn’t necessarily made for seafarers, it’s very helpful for anyone who needs to know how to treat basic injuries and illnesses. The app includes several sections, including first aid instructions, emergency procedures, and more. You’ll also find information regarding how to perform these procedures safely and effectively.
Seafarers can find this app incredibly useful while they’re out at sea. The app is developed by the American Red Cross and the British Red Cross, so you know that it’s reliable. The tips are readily available even without an internet connection. All the information is already stored on the app.
Videos, quizzes, and step-by-step instructions about different medical situations help users learn quickly. It’s easy to navigate and understand, making it a great tool for any seafarer.
6) Currency Converter
Another app that can help seafarers while they visit ports is a currency converter. They need this because they need to know the exchange rates in different countries. This also helps them track their spending when they’re away from home.
These applications have a simple interface. All you have to do is enter your destination country and then select the amount of currency you want to convert. A list of currencies will appear with their corresponding values. This helps with financial planning and budgeting as well.
Some of the best currency converter apps out there include Xe Currency Converter, Currency Converter Plus, Easy Currency Converter. The recommended app for you will usually depend on your preferences.
7) Maritime World Ports
Maritime World Ports is an app that offers information about different ports in the world. Currently, users can access information on over 4000 ports in 191 countries. This app can help seafarers know different port locations and what kind of services are offered in each port.
In the app, you can search a port by country or name. Once you’ve found the location you’re looking for, you can read up on information, such as position, availability, and capacity of cranes at ports.
Seafarers will find this useful because they’ll know what to expect at each port. If they don’t know where they’re going, they can use this app to get some guidance. It will help them plan ahead and avoid surprises.
8) Language Translator Apps
Since seafarers always visit different countries, it’s helpful to have an app that translates languages. There are many translation apps out there, but the app for you will usually depend on what you’re looking for. There are two popular apps that can help you understand different languages. These are Google Translate and Duolingo.
In Google Translate, you simply type in a sentence, hit translate, and it does its thing. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but it’s still pretty good. Various languages are available on the app, which makes it easy to choose one if you need to communicate with someone who speaks a different language.
Duolingo, on the other hand, has a much simpler approach. Users only need to sign up for free accounts. After that, they start learning new languages through lessons. Lessons are short and easy to follow. When you complete a lesson, you receive points you can redeem for rewards like badges. It’s a great way to spend your downtime on long journeys.
Greenship is an app that can help seafarers know the IMO requirements for ships. Seafarers often need to comply with these standards, so knowing what they are is important. Greenship provides a quick overview of the regulations, including CO2, NOx, SOx, and ballast water requirements for a given ship.
This app aims to make things easier for seafarers, especially those who are not very familiar with maritime laws. They can simply search for a specific ship or vessel and learn more about the IMO requirements. It’s also a great way for seafarers to know their ship’s environmental impact.
However, the app states that the requirements listed should be considered for guidance only. They mention that, “There are numerous other rules and regulations on the environment, both global and local, as well as possible exemption criteria on some of the requirements.”
10) Anti-Shipping Activity Message (ASAM) App
A seafarer’s safety may also depend on whether they know what to do when they see something suspicious. The ASAM app helps seafarers identify potential threats before they reach dangerous waters.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency developed this app. It includes the geographic location and the reported descriptive accounts of specific hostile acts against ships. These hostile acts may include incidents of piracy, robbery, hi-jacking, and kidnapping.
In addition, the ASAM app can work even without an internet connection. Users can access the information offline if they cache or store warning data pulled from the ASAM database when connected to the Internet.
The Bottom Line
Smartphones are a great tool for seafarers. With the right apps, you’ll be able to stay informed, safe and productive at sea. The apps mentioned above are just some of the many useful tools out there. From route optimization to safety to learning languages, there’s no shortage of apps that will keep seafarers safe and entertained while away from home.