The Seafarers Happiness Index has taken a move upward in the second quarter as a range of efforts to improve crew welfare bear fruit, although The Mission to Seafarers warned of complacency in the midst of rising optimism.

The Christian seafarers’ charity said overall happiness increased to 7.21 on a scale of 10, from 5.85 in the prior quarter.

The rise in the index, put together with the support of insurer Standard Club and vessel inspections firm Idwal, showed that shipping industry solutions to tackle the well-being of crew members are starting to lift morale, The Mission to Seafarers said.

“While it has been a difficult two years, it is nice to see some optimism return, which is largely down to the hard work the industry has done to make life better and raise spirits on board,” said secretary general Andrew Wright.

“However, there are still areas that can be improved upon, which is why it’s so critical for organisations to continue taking meaningful steps to boost seafarer happiness and crew welfare.”

The start of the Covid-19 pandemic launched a challenging time for seafarers, who faced trouble getting on and off ships, as well as lack of access to vaccines.

More than two years later, The Mission to Seafarers said that vessel crews are starting to see the end of the tunnel, with restrictions easing even though it is not clear whether the post-pandemic world is fully upon them.

The charity said the index’s rise was seen across a range of other areas, as well. Social events — from quizzes and karaoke to barbecues and movie nights — contributed to morale.

Shipboard workers expressed greater satisfaction with connectivity, food, shore leave and the growing number of seafarer centres.

But The Mission to Seafarers said there is much work to be done to improve their welfare and warned that any recovery in happiness “can easily be lost”.

“While there is an increase in the score this quarter, and cause for optimism, for every positive we see there are many more negatives that still need to be addressed,” said Thom Herbert, a crew welfare advocate and senior marine surveyor at Idwal.

“Hours of work and rest continue to be in conflict, and the individual instances quoted in the report indicate that this issue needs more focus.”