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Photo by Gregg Yan for Seafarer Asia
Seafarers have a lot on their plate. Aside from the demands of his profession, a seafarer also has to deal with other issues like maintaining long-distance relationships, feelings of isolation, interacting with colleagues of different backgrounds and cultures.
Family will always be the most important part of a seafarer’s life. His loved-ones, after all, are the reasons why he is working hard. In return for the sacrifices of seafarers, families must do their best to make it all worthwhile.
What can family members do to help seafarers lead a stable and happy life while at sea? These are just some of the tips that may help:
Families should be responsible enough to run their lives. This means practicing common sense, thinking hard before making a decision, and not doing risky things. When one is responsible, it lessens the worries of seafarers and they don’t waste time thinking of worst-case scenarios.
Manage your finances well.
It’s the same old story. We’ve heard so many tales of woe, where families of overseas Filipino workers squander the hard-earned money of their breadwinners. When the seafarer returns to the country, he ends up broke and has no choice but to quickly go back on board.
Families should always be prudent in managing their finances. Being a seafarer is a difficult job and there must be a deliberate and conscious effort to save as much as one can. This secures the family’s financial standing or prepares the family for worst-case scenarios. Having an emergency fund also provides the seafarer options of retiring early or pursuing other businesses.
This applies to family members who are still in school. Whether you’re a son, a daughter, or a younger sibling of seafarer, the best gift you can give is to study hard and finish your studies. Most Filipinos would work night and day just to provide a good education for their family. It is just right that you give back by graduating.
Take care of your health.
One of the worst things that could happen to anyone is to learn that your loved-ones are sick. Imagine if your seafarer receives the news that a family member is in the hospital. He would feel distraught and completely helpless. Even when he wants to be physically present, he can’t because he’s at sea.
Family members should take care of their health to avoid causing distress to your seafarer. Eat balanced meals, exercise regularly, and undergo regular check-ups to make sure you’re in tiptop shape.
Equally important is that family members continue to pray for their loved-ones at sea. Pray for their safety, good health, and well-being. Pray that they are surrounded with good colleagues and bosses. Pray that they are protected from any harm, temptation and danger. Pray for their happiness.
A seafarer’s life is never easy. With the help of his family, though, it doesn’t have to be that hard. All it takes is a little more consideration.