The Crew Mess Launches to Offer Support for Crew with Addiction
29 October 2020
Alcohol and drug addictions have been prevalent in the yachting industry for many years now, although with addiction still heavily stigmatised, many crew have suffered in silence without access to adequate help.
The high-pressured nature of the working onboard for extended periods of time at sea, plus the presence of large cash tips at the end of charters, has led many crew to turn to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping and ‘letting off steam’.
With this in mind, a group of industry professionals has recently launched The Crew Mess, providing a free and direct support service for drug and alcohol addiction amongst crew. The team comprise of experienced and ex yachting professionals, so they’re able to relate to the struggles of crew in need and can arrange for a drug or alcohol intervention on board a vessel or at a crew member's home.
Andrew Roch, director of The Crew Academy and one of the founders of The Crew Mess, explained that his own path to recovery had inspired him to offer the same, free-of-charge ‘hand holding’ service to those crew suffering from addiction. He also noted that the website had been motivated by a series of lockdown wellbeing sessions that The Crew Academy had carried out during the summer, where it had uncovered many worrying stories of addiction and realised that there wasn’t enough support for crew in need.
'The industry has a tendency to stigmatise those suffering with addiction or mental health and wellbeing, so we hope by providing a free direct service for yacht crew suffering from addiction, those who are suffering are encouraged to reach out and make a change’.
The team aims to get crew back to the point where they’re able to return to work under captains who would sponsor them. At the same time, they would provide fellow crew members with training on how best to support them as they settle back into working life.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, please contact the team at The Crew Mess to get help: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Important tasks for your crew this winter
It’s that time of year in the Mediterranean and other northern hemisphere yachting locations when many vessels are lined up in ports for the winter whilst a portion of their crew stay onboard to undertake the important task of ‘winterising’, as well as other key maintenance jobs which didn’t get addressed during the busy summer months of chartering.
Yacht Job Scams on the Rise
Over the last couple of months, the PYA's Member Assistance Service (MAS) has received a number of reports from crew who have been approached by scammers offering false jobs onboard yachts. Along with these direct reports, there has also been a number of incidents reported via the Yacht Crew Facebook Groups.