CyberOwl Ltd

CyberOwl supports seafarers

Fundraising for The Mission To Seafarers
raised of £4,000 target
We provide emergency support to seafarers to give help and hope for crews worldwide


The seafarer welfare issue is not just for large organisations. Startups can play their part too.

Support our initiatives to help improve seafarer welfare by clicking 'Give Now'.

It's always been tough being a seafarer. But the last 18 months have been particularly brutal. 

Most of us are pretty bored of walks, runs, queues outside the supermarket, watching too much TV and having to make our own food and entertainment whilst locked up at home. But imagine being stuck on a vessel for over a year. With no means of disembarking. Away from your family. Often with no phone or internet access. And if you're one of the crew working on an abandoned vessel (see this Safety4Sea article and ITF report), then it's not even obvious when and how you will get home. 

This is not how to treat the people that make sure 90% of the goods we need and want to consume can get to us. 

25 June is the Day of the Seafarer, an initiative set up by the IMO. A lot of good work is being done and there are a lot of calls for global shipping organisations, port authorities, flag states and other global maritime institutions to do more. Clearly, it’s important for these organisations to move beyond rhetoric and symbolism. But solving the seafarer welfare problem shouldn’t just stop with large or global organisations. SMEs and startups have a role to play too. Little hinges swing big doors. 

At CyberOwl, we have been advocating that the maritime sector “Stop Talking, Start Doing” on maritime cybersecurity. In the same spirit, we are going to start doing something about seafarer welfare too. To try and play our small part in improving things. We figured we would leverage what we’re good at as a startup - maximising impact despite limited resources, and using agility to solve challenging problems. 

To maximise the impact of our initiative, we needed to find a partner whose core mission was seafarer welfare, to ensure the limited resources we have can be channeled most effectively. After some robust discussions internally with the whole CyberOwl team, we have decided to work with The Mission to Seafarers

The Mission supports the men and women working at sea when they need help the most. In 2020 alone, they managed to support 187,140 seafarers with their welfare across 30,576 ships. This has spanned everything from the critical to the emotional. Initiatives like providing personal protective equipment, helping with shopping for essentials at a port, to simply having a friendly chat from the gangway. 

To support the Mission’s great work, we at CyberOwl, have set ourselves 3 challenges, tackling 3 peaks over the next 3 months

  1. The Global Fitness Challenge - We will commit to burning 187,140 calories through exercise within the next 3 months - 1 calorie for every seafarer that The Mission to Seafarers supported in 2020. That is equivalent to 72 marathons or 82 Olympic triathlons.
  2. The Three Peaks Challenge - Assuming the UK doesn't go into a lockdown, we will attempt the Welsh 3 peaks challenge in July - summiting the 3 of Wales’ highest peaks over a 24 hour period. This involves a total walking distance of over 27km, an ascent of 2,864 metres and driving around 7 hours within that 24 window. 
  3. The Tech Challenge - Only 57% of seafarers are given access to personal emails and only 6% have access to video calling. This is particularly desperate when many seafarers have been denied shore leave for over a year. The Mission to Seafarers has been lending mobile MiFi units to ships arriving in port that provide seafarers internet access. However, these MiFi units and the airtime imposes a significant cost, which limits the Mission’s ability to provide coverage to the large number of seafarers that need it. Given this, we have challenged ourselves to develop an alternative MiFi solution that costs at least 50% cheaper than the current solution. We don’t know if we will succeed yet. However, if we do, it will at least double the Mission’s reach with the same funds. If we outperform our target significantly, it could provide the much needed scalability to reach the 1,000s of stranded, disconnected seafarers, so that they can connect with the friends and family they haven’t spoken to for over a year.

We are really looking forward to working as a team to conquer these challenges. Now we are looking for your support. We believe this is a really important cause. We hope you agree.

Donate by clicking 'Give Now' and keep up to date with our progress here.

About the charity

Founded in 1856 and funded entirely by voluntary donations, The Mission to Seafarers offers emergency assistance and support to crews around the world. Whether victims of piracy or those shipwrecked or stranded, we’re there for the globe’s merchant seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs.

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