Since 1942, United Seamen’s Service has provided recreation, communication, counseling, dining and health services for thousands of seafarers at its eight centers worldwide and to those on ships, in hospital or detention.
USS Meets the Needs of Seafarers Through:
- Repatriation – When seafarers are separated from their ships because of illness, an accident or other misfortune, USS works with local governments, consulates and international agencies to return the seafarers to their home countries.
- Hospital and Convalescent Services – USS supports and assists hospitalized seamen by acting as a liaison with the hospital staff, contacting the seafarer’s family or by supplying care packages with reading material and personal items.
- Supportive Counseling – Seafarers held in custody receive supportive counseling from USS staff, as well as comfort items and assistance with swift repatriation.
- Legal Assistance – USS cooperates with foreign authorities to resolve difficulties for detained seafarers. Frequently, this intervention enables seafarers to return to their vessel in time to sail, thus protecting their jobs.
- Worldwide Centers – All 8 centers offer recreational activities: dining, phone, fax, internet and currency exchange along with sale of money orders so that mariners can pay bills or send funds to their families.
- Recreation and Entertainment – Recreation and dining facilities at USS centers give seafarers a comfortable place to relax before returning to their ships. Centers also plan social, athletic and holiday programs.
- Ship Visiting – USS staff visit ships in port to provide a range of information including medical referrals to background on local attractions and culture.
- Library Services – New reading material is brought to ships through our affiliated American Merchant Marine Library Association (AMMLA).