In this issue of Making Waves, we highlight three initiatives and incidents related to mental and physical health and wellbeing in the current environment.


Resilience reboot

In 2018, leading IMCA members came together to develop the Resilience Awareness Programme. This was a tailored programme of six videos and accompanying guidance, designed to be used by groups of employees within the marine contracting industry. The aim is to help promote discussion and share thoughts, in order to become more resilient. A key attribute of a successful person or a successful organisation is the ability to cope with challenging issues and to bounce back. Lack of resilience poses an operational and safety risk to our business. This programme was developed (originally by Shell) to help the entire workforce focus on developing resilience – mental toughness - in managing these challenges and maintaining focus in the workplace.


But now of course, things have changed again. The past six months have been more difficult still with the COVID-19 pandemic changing everything. The impact of COVID-19 at a human level has created considerable stress and anxiety, for obvious reasons. Crews are working longer trips offshore; crew changes are delayed or cancelled. People are held in quarantine and isolation far from their families. Concern for the welfare of our loved ones at home will be paramount in our minds.


We thought it appropriate at this time to again draw the attention of our members and their workforces to this excellent and inspirational material. Resilience is about working through difficult experiences and having the ability to bounce back quickly. Resilience is learning from the way we cope with a difficult or stressful situation and making good use of that learning experience in the future. These are difficult and stressful times for many people.


Developing and hardening our mental resilience through awareness training can help us manage stress and make clearer, better-quality decisions in stressful situations. We can also bounce back and respond more quickly should things go wrong.


The Resilience Awareness Programme of six video modules explains the main concepts of resilience and proposes some useful tips on how we can develop and improve this capability for use at work and at home.


View or download the six modules at

CPR - 'We saved a life that day''

An IMCA member recently reported that a crew member suffered several cardiac arrests in front of his crew mates. Immediately CPR was started, and the medic was alerted. The patient was resuscitated, but experienced subsequent cardiac events while awaiting medical air transport. On arrival of air-lift crew, the patient was reassessed by the flight medic and further cardiac treatment administered prior to transport. At time of transport, the patient was conscious, alert, and oriented.


The patient was sent to hospital, and after an operational procedure he was able to return home to his family after three days.


The positive outcome of this story, saving a life, is the result of leadership, commitment, and preparedness for the unexpected.


What went right?


To be successful in any emergency, training and drills are key. The marine crew alerted the SAR helicopter, which then landed safely on the helideck. The interaction between the first aiders, medic, and the SAR crew was exceptional. Also, the doctors and nurses in the hospital did their part to make this happen. One particular crew member made an exceptional effort using leadership skills and medical expertise, to help save a life.




Our member, while noting that it can be hard to motivate for training or drills after a long shift, nonetheless suggests that this uplifting success story will encourage extra training in basic CPR.

Looking after our people

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have had to modify their lifestyle and working practices to accommodate the new rules and ways of working and living required to minimise the spread of the disease. One member reports that the living arrangements for crew changed radically and was very different from the arrangements that the crew had been accustomed to. Whilst this new approach enabled operational continuity, company management were prepared if team members experienced any kind of mental and emotional distress as a result of the changes to their crews’ normal life habits.


One thing that was done, was, a special treat was given to celebrate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. To celebrate Eid Al Fitr, baskets of fruit and cakes were sent to the different departments on each boat and to various offices. The same gifts were sent to staff currently isolated in hotel rooms. This simple gesture helped to lighten the mood, lifted the spirits and re-energized the morale of everyone.


Our member noted that it was vital to focus on the emotional and mental well-being and resilience of our people. Team members may be unaware or may not admit that they need help and may suffer in silence. Small gestures are appreciated; these can lift people up to regenerate their mental energy, happiness, confidence, motivation, and productivity.