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The ITFST has today launched the Still At Sea photography competition for seafarers. Open to currently serving seafarers and with a 1st prize of £1000, the competition invites seafarers to submit digital photos of their lives at sea during the pandemic.

With around 90% of global trade transported by ships, seafarers have continued working throughout the pandemic. However, the impact of travel restrictions, quarantine requirements and the lack of flights have trapped some 300,000 seafarers aboard ship, with many not having been ashore for months on end, let alone going home.

The competition aims to give a voice to these forgotten keyworkers, and show the world the realities of their lives aboard ship as they supply the world with the raw materials and consumer goods that keep hospitals running, power stations pumping and shipping essential consumer goods.

Dave Heindel, ITF Seafarers’ Trust Chair of Trustees said “As Covid-19 has ravaged nations, seafarers have continued working uninterrupted. Many of them have not been ashore for months on end, some for well over a year. A photograph needs no translation to share its story and the Still At Sea competition is a platform for seafarers to show the wider world the realities of life stuck onboard.”

Katie Higginbottom, Head of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust said “At the beginning of the pandemic seafarers were relatively safe at sea but worried for their families. However, months have passed and hundreds of thousands of seafarers are still stuck at sea, their contracts extended well beyond terms that can be considered humane. Still At Sea is a chance for seafarers, hidden but vital global keyworkers, to share a glimpse of their lives to the people who unknowingly rely on them.”

Seafarers are invited to submit their photographs on the competition’s website between now and 30 September 2020. The winning photographs will be announced on the Trust’s Facebook page on 30 October 2020 and digital and physical exhibitions of submissions are planned to follow.

The Seafarers Trust is a UK charity established in 1981, which funds programmes that advance the wellbeing of maritime workers, seafarers and their families. We are funded by the Trust’s own capital funds, and by the investment income of the Welfare Fund at the International Transport Workers Federation, a global federation of transport workers’ unions with nearly 20 million worker members.


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