11 Mistakes sailors make and how to avoid them

There are lots of mistakes some sailors do while onboard. Such mistakes sometimes place a high risk to the Seafarer career, life and that of the ship. Also rise a question about if the person is really professional on job or not.

While analyzing Such mistakes People said to be self-carelessness, untrained, unfamiliar with the job assigned, etc. Well, in this article, we are going to list about ten major sailors mistakes observed while onboard.

Also, we are to discuss further details on how to arrest them or create awareness for it not to happen.

Shipboard mistakes you must not make.

1. Sleep on duty: it’s quite understood, sometimes the body can feel weak and need rest. But, you must also understand that while on duty at night or day, be it engine or deck duty officer/rating, always remember that the lives onboard and ship herself is on your care.

To me, seeing an officer or rating sleeping on duty is an unforgivable type of mistake. When your body seems weak or feels sleepy, take round, keep yourself busy. It’s only 4 or 6 hours maximum per watch. You have enough time to sleep as much as you can.

2. Sluggish: A brave Seafarer is always smart both physically and mentally. About 70% of accidents relating to disabling ( hand, legs, eye lost, or even death) are all caused by sluggish.

Eg. During ship mooring, an AB ordered to line up the ropes, he did as told. But during the operation, he gave the rope to the other ship and stand in between the ropes. Now the rope with force of gravity which he let go pulls him down and cut off his leg.

Also see, Live Incident On Board Ship

He was not smart enough. Because you don’t need an officer to remind you to go out between the ropes. The officer might be busy with other things and will not have that time.

3. Family issues: It’s very unfortunate, sailors do make this mistake of thinking about family issues while at work. Note, this will not only give you a bad impression, bad mood but also place your life in danger. All crew onboard has their resting hours, use it to think and finalize the issue.

4. Mobile phone: We are in the modern time were everyone use smartphones. But don’t forget, there is time for everything under the sun. Playing with phone continues phone call and chatting while on duty, might lead to less attention to what required of you.

Eg. A container ship while loading in Algeria port, two gentlemen came onboard, saw gangway duty officer on phone chatting, they greeted him and move in as fast as possible. They hide in the container ( stowage), when the police search the ship and fish them out, when police asked them, who brought you in, they said the duty officer ( they describe him). They asked, how the duty officer brought them in, they said, he greeted us and said go, so we proceeded.

5. Drunk onboard: the maximum contract in Cargo ships is 9 months. After that, you have lots of time to drink as much as you like. Never put yourself or other crews in danger with drunkenness. If you read our article about what happened between a captain and 3rd mate who was drunk while on duty, you will understand more better.

6. False gist about a crew: some crew is used to telling a false story about other crew, just to make a name. This unsafe and a mistake you don’t need to allow yourself into. Always remember you came onboard for a maritime job and not a newsman. Do your work and make it best.

7. The ship doesn’t belong to you: Always have in mind, the ship belongs to a businessman, and he can remove you once found engaging yourself on illegal acts. Keep to ship policy and earn as agreed. Ship property remains owners property and not yours. You are entitled to only salary and other allowances which the owner may want to give.

8. Swimming while at Anchorage: All seamen are trained to swim better. But the company never ask you to have fun while at anchorage. Don’t forget, wide animals are always on a food hunt. Always remember you lovely family before taking a risk when it’s not time to take a risk. You are allowed to leave the ship only on emergency and base on that insurance company may pay in case of any life loss. Fun has limit and we always have enough time to have any kind of fun.

9. Sitting on the ship rail: It’s very surprising, among all the ship decks, cabins, mess, etc. You will still sight some crew sitting on the ship side handrail. After man overboard, next is an investigation. In the case of life loss, such an act will not be paid for. Always advice yourself and maintain a proper culture while onboard ship.

10. Sleep control: Some sailors sleep the just same way they sleep at home. Sometimes alarm ring, but no response. As a captain, in major occasions, I do call for emergency drill unaware. I believe this can make my crews be on alert at all time in case of emergency. Always manage your sleeping culture and keep to time in case of emergency. In September 2017, a bulk carrier ship sank in just 3 mins off Philippine.

11. Loud headphone music: You may use headphone to listen to your favorite music. But always keep it lower to enable you to listen to your surroundings.

Risk assessment management.

Tools box safety meeting
Tools box safety meeting by crews. all rights reserved.

To prevent all of the above mentioned, it’s very important that the ship safety officer conduct a risk assessment at regular intervals. On that forum, all of these can be discussed, inform and/or educate the crews.

Tools box meeting also can be of a good opportunity to pass the information that will help the crews in maintaining proper safety precautions.

We hope this article will guide your stay and safe work onboard.

If you have more to add to the list, please kindly drop it on the comment box.

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