The health of mariners

Someone once said that there are two reasons for everything. The good reason and the real reason!
It’s good to know you have healthy shipmates to work with. But I can see a lot of older mariners not being able to renew for various health reasons, as well as crewmembers who are obese. This can possibly cause shortages in crewing. Possible real reasons;
Vessel owners are trying to control their insurance costs, both with company health plans and maintenance and cure expenses for shipboard injuries.
Congressmen such as Senator McCain are trying to eliminate the Jones act. What better excuse to hire foreign crewmen than to have a shortage of American mariners.
The company that I occasionally work for has a strong health program for their crews. Always fresh fruit on the mess deck. Access to company exercise equipment, Online personal health inventories. These programs should be advocated.
Also, cities with maritime industries should be encouraged to have maritime programs in their high schools, to bring up the next generation of mariners. (Are you listening Portland, OR?)
I agree with Captain Sweeney that the Coast Guard is not addressing the fatigue issue.

Edward Niemi

By Professional Mariner Staff