Relationships Crew bonding and teamwork Maintaining healthy relationships at sea can have a very big impact on your general health and wellbeing. As you may be working on a long contract and be at sea for many months, socialising can help you stay happy, and build a strong sense of teamwork, which also helps keep you safe. Communications between the crew has been highlighted as one of the key areas that help in a crisis. Although many crews now are multi-national, the language of the sea continues to be English, so this should help everyone to talk to each other. Why not brush up on English if you can in your down time? There are many courses and books available to help you. You may need to aim to build strong bonds with a range of people that you will work with, whatever your rank. If you are an Able-Bodied (AB) seafarer, you need to make sure you are working safely and fulfilling the contract that you have signed up to. Make sure you always understand clearly what your duties are. Being punctual and polite always helps. Make conversation with your crew mates and find out about what makes them tick over breakfast or dinner. Keeping in touch with home One of the main causes of work place stress at sea is long separation from your partner, friends and family. This can have a very big impact on your health and wellbeing. Maintaining a long distance relationship requires a lot of trust on both sides, which can easily be eroded when times are hard. Loneliness can be a very big problem, so it is important to make sure that you keep in touch with family and your loved ones as often as you can. One of the barriers to keeping in touch, is the limited availability on board of adequate access to broadband, internet and email.