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New app to strengthen seafaring community launches

A new social networking and community platform called seaV has been launched to help millions of seafarers record their experiences and tell their stories of life and work at sea.

seaV invites seafarers to connect with each other to share their knowledge and expertise with those who follow them to help build a stronger and more supported global maritime community.

Shore-based colleagues and the wider community can use seaV to follow and more easily engage and remain in closer contact with friends and family who are working at sea and the ships they work on.

The community operates via a free smart phone app which uses AIS ship tracking data to automatically enrich users’ experience records, both live and historically.

seaV launches at a time when many seafarers have been stranded on ships or struggled to return home during the pandemic. seaV allows users to evidence in words and pictures what is happening, where they have been, how far they have sailed and how the pandemic has affected them.

The platform has been created by two British entrepreneurs, naval architect Will Ellison and technology expert Ed Brunyee. They previously worked together on a project using AIS ship tracking data to analyse the flow of commodities, providing a unique perspective on the global economy.

Their experience of the shipping industry and time spent developing innovative uses for ship tracking was the inspiration for seaV. 

Ellison said: “The pandemic has made it an incredibly challenging 18 months for seafarers. It’s very important that we hear their stories and acknowledge their achievements. seaV can help.

“Seafarers play a critical role in the global supply chain but all too often this goes unnoticed by us, the end consumer, and to some extent by parts of the shipping industry itself.

“What makes seaV different from other platforms is that it goes well beyond just job hunting and recruitment.  Autonomous data capture requires minimum input from the user, but gives them large amounts of rich, interesting content to share with their colleagues, friends and family.”

The app allows users to automatically build digital logs, track every sea journey and build their professional and personal networks all in a single place.

It uses ship tracking technology to automatically record voyage details, miles sailed and port call information. As well as tracking live activity, historical AIS data archives allows users to generate this information for their past experience within minutes of downloading the app.

Brunyee said: “It’s encouraging to see an increasing number of initiatives and programmes aimed at helping seafarers and we hope seaV will become a focal point for these efforts. The majority of new technology and innovation within shipping usually focuses on the bottom line rather than benefiting the men and women who make shipping happen.

“seaV is important because it puts the maritime community first. It is free to access and is dedicated to providing an important network for seafarers to tell their stories, as well as providing essential data and information with the utmost of ease.”

The app is available now from iTunes and Google Play Store.  

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