The job at sea has never been an easy task right from the earlier time when sea trading was discovered.
It’s quite understood that every profession has its risks, advantage, and disadvantages, but in the terms of sea career, there are lots of challenges which surrounds it. Lots of people do ask ” is it a wise idea to join merchant navy?”
Well, someone who might in one way or the other encounter bad experience while at sea answers “NOT WISE IDEA” or ” DON’T JOIN”. To me, I always answer “YES” because lucks are different. I believe in courage and not discourage.
The Job At Sea; to me is an amazing career. You could face challenges as listed below, including job search. But at the end, only your efforts, courage, will determine the outcome.
Major challenges behind Sea career includes:
- The long-term away from family
Unstable Job / periodically in job search
Facing rough weathers in the open seas
-Fear of pirates,
- working in confined spaces of the vessel also exposes Seafarers to a myriad of hazards which could endanger their health and place life risk.
Not only that, seafarers also encounter salary related problems; Salary paid not on time or not pay at all, fewer food supplies or NO food onboard, etc.
Before making a decision to join the career at sea, you need to be aware of this cases , also be determined to face the challenges and try to avoid errors.
Job At Sea – Photo edited from Marine Blue 2000 profile, all rights reserved.
What to do about the risks associated with sea career?
The career as earlier said is associated with lots of risks which if precision is not taken, it may lead to health or life lost. They are as follows;
- Sea accidents; If all rules observed, there will be no accidents. Learn about accidents caused by human error
Pirates; Not all area have such case. check before joining. See related post about pirates area
Rough weather; First time, you may have some sea illness, but with time, all will be fine.
Working in an enclosed space; Observe the rules guiding enclosed space and all will be fine. See our article on enclosed space.
Dealing with Chemical and irritant or asphyxiate gases; Test required area before entering, use required equipment as needed, don’t wait till your safety officers remind you about using your PPE.
There are lots of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available on board to give you additional safety, these PPE include the following:
• Head protection eg safety helmets.
• Safety belts, harness, and lines to prevent injuries by falls
• Body protection eg overalls to protect the body from corrosive substances, chemicals, and running machinery
• Hand protection eg gloves to protect the hand against injuries, burns and poisonous substances.
• Respiratory protection eg dust filters, fresh air masks, and breathing apparatus aims to protect the lungs and body from damage by irritant gases or asphyxiate gases
• Foot protection eg boots or shoes with steel toecaps or steel sole plates to protect the foot against injuries caused by corrosive splashing, sparks, dropped objects and slipping.
• Ear protection eg earplugs and ear muffs protect the hearing against dangerous noise levels.
Furthermore, keeping adequate watch and maintaining proper records, will also add safety to the ship and her crews.
Navigators are to learn and understand the proper way of keeping bridge watch. Most especially, during the passage of pirates area. All crew onboard should know where the ship “safe haven” is located.
Moreover, the master most conduct at least 2 safety drills per month. This will help remind the crews to their duties on each emergency situation.
In the present time, shipping risk has reduced. Thanks to the safety of life at sea (SOLAS) who have been guiding and updating more on safety at sea. Therefore job at sea today, I can say is about 95% safe, if all safeties observed.
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