Ship masters are suffering increased stress through a perceived lack of control because of the pandemic, according to shipping psychologist Charles Watkins.

The managing director of seafarer support organisation Mental Health Support Solutions said captains are operating in what one master likened to the "Wild West" in terms of disregard for rules in ports.

Officers have told Watkins that they are feeling helpless for the first time in their careers when arriving at terminals, especially in Asia — and China in particular.