New project to capture oral histories of people stranded at sea during the pandemic


15 March 2021
A new project from the National Maritime Museum is working with ITF Seafarers’ Trust and The Mission to Seafarers, to record oral histories of seafarers who have been unable to dock in ports across the globe because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement comes as the National Maritime Museum today (15 March) signed the Neptune Agreement as part of its commitment to supporting the maritime sector and seafarers today. 

Working with ITF Seafarers’ Trust and The Mission to Seafarers, testimony from across the globe will be recorded and enter the permanent collection at the National Maritime Museum, so future generations can also learn, study and understand the impact of this pandemic on the global maritime sector.

Recording experiences

Union representatives affiliated with ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) will receive online training on best practice for gathering oral histories before collecting the experiences of seafarers during coronavirus from their local communities in The Philippines, Indonesia, Ukraine, Hong Kong and India.


Chaplains associated with The Mission to Seafarers will also be trained once lockdown restrictions are lifted to record the stories of seafarers from across the globe who play a vital role in bringing essential goods into UK ports.

Charity single release

Royal Museums Greenwich is also supporting Ince with the release of a charity single on the International Day of the Seafarer, 25 June 2021. The cover of Rod Stewart's 'Sailing' will be recorded by seafarers and the wider maritime community across the world, raising money for Stella Maris, Sailors’ Society, Seafarers UK and The Mission to Seafarers to provide ongoing support, including access to vaccines, for those stranded at sea during the pandemic. From Thursday 18 March, seafarers who are interested in being involved in this project can get in touch by e-mail.

QUICK LINK: Look ahead to the release of the 1921 Census