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Choosing a career is certainly a difficult task. When doing so, one has to go through a lot of research, consult people and offices involved in the profession, understand the nature of work, and ultimately look for every single scrap of information available.
If the chosen career is Merchant Navy, this task is even more difficult because such information may not come in handy. The mind of an aspiring mariner is often filled with uncertainties, doubts, fallacies and certain myths that prevail in and around the merchant navy profession. In order to make a positive decision to choose Merchant navy as a career, it is absolutely necessary to replace these doubts and fallacies with actual facts.
The following are 10 of the most common questions asked by fresher aspirants wanting to join the Merchant shipping.
Of course you can. Merchant navy has no restrictions on tattoos and piercings. In fact sailors are the pioneers of nautical tattoo culture.
However, since the maritime academies implement high disciplinary standards and expect officer like qualities, they will be less than friendly to funky piercings and offensive tattoos.
Visible tattoos depicting offensive messages and symbols might also create troubles while traveling abroad as several countries do not encourage them.
It’s always preferred if the tattoos are not easily visible.
As for trainee officers/engineers (cadets) the primary responsibility is to assist respective officers and to learn the job. There will be a ‘designated training officer’ (DTO) onboard who is responsible for cadets training. As the least experienced individuals, cadets should be ready to do any work assigned to him by the DTO.
Deck cadets can expect bridge watches, cargo watches, deck jobs, mooring operations etc.
Engine cadets will be involved in E/R watches, routine maintenance of machineries along with senior engineers.
Yes, you can. Seafarers will be issued ‘shore pass’ at ports, with which they can go ashore and roam around.
However, It should be clear that there is no such thing like an allotted’ free-time’ for the ship’s crew to go ashore and enjoy. Shore leaves must not be mistaken for a small vacation after a long sailing. Every individual have work and duties even in ports and they will have to make use of their rest hours after work to get a glimpse of the shore. When vessels tend to have longer port stays, it will be more convenient to find enough time to spend ashore without sacrificing rest hours.
It is a common belief that seafarers have limited access to the world and lead boring lives onboard. Although facilities can vary from ship to ship, most of the cargo ships have facilities like home theatre with a DVD library, a gymnasium, books and magazine library, swimming pool, video games, indoor games like table tennis, football.
Barbecue parties are another common recreation onboard.
Nowadays, most of the companies provide Internet access onboard helping better communication and active social media participation for sailors. However, their access is very restricted.
Pre-sea training, exams and career growths are explained as applicable to India.
Maritime training and examinations might be different in other countries.
Do you have more questions? Let us know in comments and we will try our best to give you the answers.