Non-UK Seafarers & Fishers in UK ports

Welcome to the United Kingdom (UK)!

Port Welfare Information

If you are a seafarer or fisher visiting a UK port then you may find the following information useful:

SeafarerHelp  : Provides advice and information through the ISWAN 24 hour online welfare service. Families of seafarers can also use this service from anywhere in the world in languages that include Arabic, Tagalog, Mandarin, Hindi and Russian. The ISWAN SeafarerHelp staff can also contact welfare service providers on your behalf.  

Seafarer Centre Directory  : Gives details of UK seafarers welfare services in UK ports (once active; to be replaced with  )

Port information leaflets  : The MNWB Port Welfare Committees provide information on welfare services for visiting seafarers through their  port information leaflets  covering over 40 ports around the UK coastline and Gibraltar. They provide maps and contact details for ship visits, medical services, port transport links etc.

UK Seafarers’ Centres & Port Welfare Services

There are over 30 seafarers’ center’s around the UK. These are operated by the maritime charity organisations listed below who also provide services such as ship welfare visiting, port transportation, spiritual and practical advice and assistance etc.

Mission to Seafarers

Stella Maris  (Apostleship of the Sea)

Sailors Society

Seamen’s Christian Friend Society

Aberdeen Seafarer Centre

Felixstowe Seafarer Centre

Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre   

Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest

Immingham Seafarer Centre

Port of Bristol Seafarer Centre

Need ITF support?

For support from ITF Inspectors in the UK and abroad use the  look-up tool  where you can also see ships listed, status of ITF agreements and unions affiliated to the ITF around the world

Arrested & Detained vessels in the UK

If you find yourself on an arrested or detained ship then contact welfare services in the port and the local mission to ensure that you are given support for the time your ship is arrested. Do this directly or through  SeafarerHelp

MNWB Booklet  – Arrested and Detained Vessels and Abandoned Seafarers  , is a guide to ‘who does what’ for ships arrested in the UK

Safety at Sea

The UK government  Maritime and Coastguard Agency  (MCA) is the agency responsible for implementing the government’s maritime safety policy. Its branches include:

·          Port State Control: contact the MCA Port State Control on 023 8032 9343 or email them at   

·          Ship surveys: contact the MCA Ships Surveys Team on 023 8032 9213 or email them at   

·          Health and safety of seafarers: contact the MCA Seafarer Safety and Health Branch on 023 8032 9246 

MCA Out of hours duty surveyor , Technical Enquiries, +44 (0)7810 528504; note that this service is for Urgent Technical Enquiries that require action out of office hours only

Accidents & Casualty Reporting:

Marine Accident Investigation Branch  MAIB  ) - The MAIB investigates marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters

The Mariners' Alerting and Reporting Scheme  MARS  ) is primarily a confidential reporting system run by The Nautical Institute to allow full reporting of accidents (and near misses) without fear of identification or litigation 

The UK Confidential Reporting Programme for Aviation and Maritime  CHIRP  ) - an independent confidential (not anonymous) reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with these industries, providing videos and lessons learned on safety issues for ships and yachts

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