Rus Articles Journal

Old salts: romantic profession or hard work?

the Sea will never remain without people. Millions of seamen devote life to fleet - and in exchange receive difficult, but interesting and unusual destiny.

Who onboard?

“just seamen“ are not. There are many professions demanded by shipowners. Sea vessels are used by also many branches. The liquefied gas is transported on gas carriers. Dangerous chemical freights - on himovoza. Cars - on pure car carriers, and on sea ferries - sometimes the whole structures of trains. Animals - on ovtsevoza. There are fishery vessels. There are freights which can be combined - for this purpose there are vessels for general freights. Loose freights (grain, coal, ore) transport on bulk ships, perishable (fruit, meat, fish) - on refrigerators, liquid (oil, water, wine) - on tankers, containers - on container carriers.

At last, on passenger ships transport passengers - for example, tourists. whether

all this that onboard have to be chemists, engineers of the motor transport, biologists, guides Means?

Main here the fact that the crew of any vessel traditionally has identical structure. It is divided into two main services - deck and machine.

the Captain heads crew and deck service where officers - the senior, the second, third, fourth assistants to the captain, and also ordinary structure - the boatswain, sailors, cooks and waiters enter. On some vessels there are radiomen and doctors. A great number of additional experts work at passenger ships. The crew of the passenger ship can reach one and a half thousand people.

the Deck team prepares for

for operation cargo holds and deck mechanisms - is engaged in greasing, cleaning, painting. Deck officers lay a course on cards, check the equipment, train crew, keep the running watch in the sea and monitor loading of the vessel in port.

Machine service is headed by the senior mechanic to whom officers - the second, third, fourth, system mechanics, the electrician, the refrigerator mechanic, and also ordinary structure - mechanics, cleaners, welders, turners submit.

the Machine team supports by

in operating state all complex of mechanisms of an engine room. Sea engineers deal with various mechanisms and systems of different function. On vessels practically all existing types of engines and even nuclear reactors are used. Every year there are new and new technical solutions in the sphere of ship power installations. By the way, unique knowledge and experience of sea engineers can be demanded in other areas of the industry.

at the bottom

Seamen also robots happen. To be exact - underwater robots - the automatic machines operated from a water surface. That they got to work, special geophysical vessels investigate, a square behind a square, a seabed and everything that is under it, in search of new and new oil fields - the main source of energy on the planet.

Recently the amount of the oil extracted from not too deep and enough old wells, decreases. And new fields are deeply. For example, at the coast of Brazil the well at a depth of 2300 m is drilled. For development of such fields vessels with absolutely fantastic equipment are required, the drilling platform in such conditions cannot be anchored. What to do? There were vessels and huge floating platforms operated by means of satellite systems of navigation due to which work the platform also keeps on the place.

Tows deliver

to places and establish the new platforms extracting oil and gas in the sea. Sometimes huge platforms are towed across the oceans. Vessels - suppliers day and night deliver the equipment, cement, fuel, water, products to platforms. Divers control a condition of pipelines and platforms. And control in places inaccessible to the person - already a prerogative of robots.

So, boring vessels drill wells in a seabed. By the way, they search in the ocean not only oil, but even for diamonds.

A still are vessels which lay pipelines and a cable in the ocean, connecting continents among themselves.


to become the sailor or the mechanic, is enough to end a year course of seaworthy school. Her graduates usually get for work on the Russian vessels. Persons interested to work under a foreign flag need satisfactory knowledge of English and experience.


who decided to become the naval officer come on training to the highest seaworthy educational institutions where study, accumulating experience during practice. There are also correspondence departments where already working seamen study. Graduates of sea higher education institutions have every chance to get a job directly in the foreign company.

Shipowners of the whole world submit to uniform requirements of International Maritime Organization (IMO), including - in the sphere of training. Therefore each sea educational institution has to correspond not only to national, but also international requirements. Respectively, the document on education received in such educational institution automatically admits all states of the world and is published in English by sea administration of Russia.

the Medical commission and a psychological test is the first what the entrant of sea educational institution meets. Annual passing of medical board will accompany the successful candidate throughout his sea life. Seamen in the sea are not to bad health: any doctor will not undertake such responsibility - to let out the patient in flight.

the Seaman has to be able to swim. How well? To float it is necessary to be able so that to float most and to tow the fainted companion. Each five years it is checked, and time for which it is necessary to cross the pool is noted.

the High cost of training is a distinctive feature of sea educational institution too. It is hard to say, whether a payment it for high quality of knowledge or for an opportunity to receive in the future rather quite good money. However, it is traditional to eat also the budgetary offices.

the Organization of educational process of full-time departments of sea educational institutions means directly - a military order. The discipline and high level of professionalism are those two things which are required for successful work in difficult, and sometimes even for a critical situation.

to Seamen cannot be

irresponsible: too a lot of things are entrusted them. The cost of the modern container carrier sometimes reaches 30 - 50 millions of dollars, and it apart from freight cost. The crew of such vessel makes 25 people. The passenger liner is capable to accomodate 3 thousand passengers. The large-capacity tanker can have onboard 500 thousand tons of oil or more dangerous substance. Whether it is worth speaking about what has to be the level of training of specialists for a guarantee of safety of human life, ecology and safety of the vessel?

When near Kiel 5 thousand meters of water, to the coast ahead - week at full speed, to the coast behind - as much, onboard arises the fire, and to the aid it is not necessary to count, the casual dream of the mechanic on watch can cost life to each crew member. And if some inexperienced fourth assistant knows English insufficiently, he will not manage to understand correctly the text of the arrived warning of navigation danger.

English in sea educational institutions is studied profoundly: this language is recognized as international language in fleet. In English all documents are formed, radio negotiations are conducted, there is a communication in the mixed crews gathered in the different countries.

Work in the sea traditionally is considered

man`s. And all - on what positions the girls wishing to get a sea education on an equal basis with men in the future can count? Traditionally it is the bartender, the cook, the man on duty (cleaner), but also it can be, for example, and the navigator. It is more real to woman to become the captain, than the mechanic, and in general she more likely will only do practical training on the vessel as the cadet, than it will be necessary to work for a long time: loadings are too big. Much most often the woman with sea education can be met at office stevedoring (owning the mooring) the companies, coastal agency on service of vessels, and also in the crewing company - about such companies the speech will go below. Is also women much - shipbuilders who project and build vessels, but they already graduate from other educational institution - shipbuilding, but not directly sea. Employment

Selection of shots for the shipowner and paperwork for following of the seaman on the vessel the crewing companies - the intermediaries between the shipowner and the seaman located worldwide most often are engaged in p in

. Contact with them is kept by phone and e-mail.

One of the major documents - the sea identity card. The shipowner will organize and pays obtaining such documents by the seaman, and also flight of the seaman on the vessel and its return home.

How to settle on the vessel working under a foreign flag? It is optional to seaman to be on interview to other country: everything becomes by phone. And here to obtain the license of the country of a flag for the right of work, candidates for the place on the vessel sometimes should fly and take examination in English to the country issuing the document.

First, when there is no sufficient experience, the crewing companies offer contracts duration to of 9 - 10 months. Sometimes the shipowner concludes the constant contract with the seaman. In the foreign companies seamen work most often under temporary contracts.

higher salary to skilled seamen are offered by the European and American companies. The salary of the Russian senior mechanic, for example, can make 500 dollars a day lasting contract of 6 weeks. On the same vessel a salary of the assistant to the cook from Nepal - only 200 dollars a month lasting contract of 2 years. By the way, the good nutrition onboard is also provided to the seaman at the expense of the shipowner.

Somewhat, the seaman does not choose where to it to work, the same steamship can transport freights as between several certain ports for in advance made schedule (it is called linear navigation or work on the line), and between the different ports changing at each new freight (it is called tramp navigation, from the English word tramp - the tramp).

Work and rest

the Seaman is more a way of life, than a profession. The person who began sea career gets to the true dependence on it. To romantics, before arriving on service to the lord of the seas, it is necessary to think well, than they endow. Accurately realize specifics of this work that in the future there were no unpleasant surprises.

It is frequent in crew, except you, there is no person speaking in Russian any more. Not always an opportunity to call home is given. In the sea there are neither Saturdays with Sundays, nor holidays. For the sake of decrease in expenses it is favorable to shipowners to reduce the number of crew and to shift all work to shoulders of the remained seamen.

People work as

at the vessel according to the schedule “6 business hours - 6 rest-hours“. However, rest - concept relative. Rolling, strong electromagnetic fields, limited space, 45 - 60 ° With on the deck and in an engine room, the high noise level, feeling of vibration of engines, smells of fuel and numerous toxic agents, continuous change of time zones, the food which are stored onboard sometimes on a month, the water received from distillate or from an unchecked source from the coast - here the short list of “delights“ of this work. It is necessary to have very good health and immunity surely to work at the vessel in the conditions of long (sometimes more than a month) ocean transitions and absence of the doctor. There are such concepts as restoration of an organism, rehabilitation. If to the overloaded seaman not to allow to have a rest in time, the fatigue passes into an illness. And an illness - in the chronic stage.


It is similar also in the psychological plan: nine months of the life far from usual terrestrial existence leave a strong mark on character and thinking. When it repeats with short breaks in 2 - 3 months from year to year, the person happens practically not to learn.

In Great Britain, for example, the law according to which the seaman who came back from flight lasting more than three and a half months is not allowed to participation in elections before the end of the period of rest exists.

A still should be remembered: work neither on constant, nor on temporary to types of the contract is not included into the seniority of the seaman in Russia. Under the existing Russian laws, the citizens of Russia who were abroad over 183 days are even exempted from payment of taxes.

Strangely enough, the seaman who worked in the sea several months is considered... unemployed. The person for years making for the country profit in the form of the imported currency simply has no right to pension on the basis of the seniority as he officially was an unemployed. In case of loss of health the seaman also really will become the unemployed as the medical board recognizes it unusable, and compensations from the state will not be.


Modern vessels and transport systems are projected by

so that to reduce to a minimum idle times of expensive vessels in ports. For example, the tanker of any size has to be unloaded not further, than in 12 hours. The parking of the container carrier in port - few hours. Tendency such is that it is harder and harder for crew to have an opportunity of an exit to the coast for rest.

But also on the bank of the seaman the set of dangers traps. As a rule, he sets foot on firm land after the termination of the working day - in evening and night time. At this time port areas teem with fans of an easy money. The local police even if appears, usually does not protect interests of the foreigner, and it is rather, and itself will not refuse to participate in process of acquisition of material values.

cases of piracy and kidnapping - even in Europe became frequent in recent years. Nevertheless crews are forbidden to give the weapon. A hose for fire extinguishing - all this that is on the vessel from a defensive arsenal.

the Considerable part of the territory of the planet settles down in a tropical zone where the seaman is trapped by unusual diseases - at least the same malaria. Local bacteria do not exert such impact on residents of the country, as on her guests.

A that with the native coast?

the Psychology of the person for years plowing oceans changes. The melancholy for the house disappears, the world becomes so familiar that the concept of attachment to a certain district vanishes. The person begins to consider that he has the right to choose any country for accommodation. Many and come to power of some personal circumstances - get families and live in different corners of our beautiful planet. Especially as their time do not wait for the house any more: not a secret that not all are capable to wait for seamen long.

to the Coastal acquaintance and even relatives it is difficult for p to understand the one who lives in the sea. Returning home, the wanderer every time gets to the world, new to it, to which it is necessary to adapt anew. It is difficult for it to adapt to already others for it, to the forgotten rhythm of coastal life. The loneliness happens result: those who can understand the seaman, generally too seamen, and seamen, as usual - in the sea. Sometimes friends cannot meet for years.

And still even the seaman continues to live in intervals between flights by sea. He misses an ocean scope, azure water, fresh wind, the new countries. On the clear and established tenor of life in which everyone is useful and necessary.