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10 Mistakes Seafarers Shouldn't Commit Onboard

Every seafarer knows that working on board ships is not that easy. It is such an ultimate test for the seafarer’s strength, both physical and mental. 

Mistakes will occur. it is natural because no one is born perfect. But most seafarers commit such mistakes because of the intense pressure while on board. 

There are 10 common mistakes that every seafarer should avoid as possible as they can.

  1. Inform your seniors or superiors of any mistake or problem you’ve made.  It is better to tell the truth and admit you’ve done something wrong than trying to hide it. Because this usually leads to a much bigger problem that may be too late to solve.

  1. Correct any mistakes in documentation entries right away.  Operations on ships are usually recorded to see if the ship is complying with regulations applicable and as proof for insurance claims on damage or accidents that may occur. These records are also used as reference if any case future problems may arise.

  1. Never go on duty under the influence of alcohol. Performing your responsibility on board when you are drunk will surely result to an accident, or worse, a disaster. A seafarer should always follow drug and alcohol policy of their company and ship. Because any offense made that defy these policies may lead to suspension.

  1. Follow only commands that is relevant and complies with regulations or laws.  Yes, you should follow orders from your superior or seniors. But, only if it won’t violate any regulations or laws which may lead for your imprisonment or an end in your career as a seafarer.

  1. Always be alert.  Seafarers know that each alarm, whether sounding off or flashing on and off, means something. So never should it be ignored. Drill or not, an alarm signals emergency and every seafarer on board should act promptly.

  1. Settle misunderstandings and grudges with co-seafarers. Fighting with your co-worker is a no-no. Yes there may be differences since a ship will have a crew of different nationalities. These issues shouldn’t lead to physical fights for these may not only lead to suspension or imprisonment, but also to serious injuries.

  1. Your cabin is your private home. Never let anyone in.  A seafarer’s cabin, no matter how big or small it is, is their private place onboard a ship. It is only reasonable that no one should enter it without your permission or consent. It is for seafarer’s protection too because some countries’ authorities would come onboard unannounced to inspect the crew’s cabin.

  1. Be punctual. Mind the time. Whenever your ship docks on port, be aware of the time you are allowed of shore leave and the time you should be on board again. Don’t be a burden to the crew by waiting for you or have the embarrassment of being left behind as this will also be costly for the company.

  1. The cabin is the seafarer’s private property, but not the ship itself.  Never ever bring back home any ship’s property. Don’t think of putting in your luggage any items, small or big, useless or not. Not unless they’ve given you a go signal to do so. Such personal acts will only mark your record as a seafarer, and may also lead to imprisonment or suspension. 

  1. Never carry a package for and from co-seafarers.  No matter how at ease you are to a co-worker or their family, never accept a package and be a messenger. You don’t want to be questioned by custom officers because of suspicious parcel, which may be your flight’s cause of delay.


Latest job openings for Filipino seafarers.

More to read:

What Smart Seafarers Should Do Before Boarding a Ship

10 Ways for Seafarers to Keep Fit and Healthy While Onboard

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Diseases and Disorders that Seafarers Should Know

10 Mistakes Seafarers Do With Their Money

5 Proven Ways to be a Great Seaman Dad



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