Welcome to the Dockwalk.com Forum

 

In order to post a comment in one of the forum topics, you must log in or sign up. Your display name will appear next to your posts unless you check the Post Anonymously box. When writing a post, please follow our forum guidelines. If you come across a post that you would like us to review, use the Report Post button. Please note the opinions shared in the forums do not necessarily reflect the views of Dockwalk.


RSS Feed Print
Reality check during ENG1 medical
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 10:09 PM

Reality check during ENG1 medical - How many yachties are pushing the health and wellbeing envelope, without even realizing it? One year ago the Captain and all our crew completed ENG1 medicals on the same day. 1/3 of the crew had medical issues that warranted a few stern words from the doctor (2/3’s of the crew were healthy newbie’s yet to be crushed by extended working hours and the wild partying of a solo day off). . High blood pressure and weight where two (2) health issues that almost prevented crew from receiving unrestricted medical fitness certificates. After the doctor gave me my little chat I decided to change jobs, because there was absolutely no way I could accommodate a health and wellbeing program that would fit into the boats schedule. It was not a matter of excuses; my job was literally 24/7, 1 day off every 3 weeks and a stressful program that churned through crew like me every month. Heart burn, headaches, short tempers and hours spent senselessly working and not having a life was routine for me until my ENG1 medical reality check. I’ve read plenty of good stuff about exercise and healthy eating on the Dockwalk but in all honesty the crew and the chef can only do so much, like so many crew issue’s it all comes from the top and the sooner yacht employers start to appreciate good crew the better I say. My new job is the same as my last, but this time round people are given time to achieve balance between work and private life. The niggling problems and complaining are still there, but somehow clearer heads work things out and now I find myself working with a crew that have been together for years, not months. Funny how giving people reasonable pay, time off and their social rights, achieves longevity of employment and good health.


Salvador
Posted: Thursday, September 30, 2010 11:19 AM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


... I whant one like that!!

Sorry, was running.       I can even change my job for some deckhand position, in an active programe yacht.

I'm skipper of a 74' my that goes out 1 month, and, a mate \ bosun in a 34 m that goes out 2 a month. .

I change my position for a deckhand \ something position in a  a moving private yacht.  with a crew member that wishes to sit back for a wile.  


Kimberly Doren
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 4:03 PM
Joined: 18/09/2010
Posts: 1


I'd like to get my ENG1 but it appears that there's only 1 doctor in Ft. Lauderdale and 1 in Seattle, is this correct??
Cheers

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 4:55 PM
It's a recession, shut mouth, do your job, get a check. What whiners. Don't drink, don't smoke. Get 30 minutes of excersize a day. (as if you don't work hard enough during the day) Don't surf till 4 am on the free porn site (on the boats broadband sat) But I'm the captain and have many decades of healthy living and running boats. It's the young that are falling apart. It's real simple to cheat the reaper, just live right. This yachting grind is not for everyone so if you can't cut it, quit it.
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:09 PM
Time off ...... ISM .......... reliefs that are rested; try working on a liveaboard yacht is 34m long (is under 200 GRT) has a crew of 4 that work all day everyday averaging 18 hours per day, who have been working like this since the middle of April! The average crew age is 36 and we're still going strong! I think the comment that the 'younguns' won't/can't survive is entirely correct! 8)
Planet Massage & Chef Mark Lohmann
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:22 PM
Joined: 23/05/2008
Posts: 10


@ Anonymous...ok, the exercise is correct, and not drinking and smoking does help. But, that's only part of it. I cant tell you how many boats I have worked on where the the owner or captain will happily give you an hour off to go pound a few drinks but if you ask for that hour to go work out you get a reply like" what do you think, this is a vacaion?" Most yachties do not get enough free time or take time for themselves. That is exactly why I got out and into the wellness and massage business. Sooner or later, chances are, either we see you to treat your pain and stress, or the surgeon does. http://www.planetmassage.com/yellowgreenfarmersmarket
Anonymous
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:36 PM
I'm coming up to a year without working. I have skin cancer as a result of working on yachts for so many years and my boss wouldn't allow me the time off to get treatment.
Today I got the results from my latest biopsy which is looking OK, just OK, meaning an operation should clear it!!!!

Anonymous
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:45 PM
I am running a 47 meter with 12 crew and it pains me that the owners dont give a dam about the crew, thier health or thier needs for the simple things in life. A day off would be a dream, time for a haircut, a chat with friends or a swim. We have been going since April with 5 days off so far and there is still a month left to go. I feel very fortunate to have a great crew, a paycheck and a holiday coming soon but it will be spent regaining my health and sanity rather than enjoying an actual vacation. I have been in this business for a very long time and never encountered such a bruttle schedule as what we have had in the last year. These are tough times and they will no doubt keep getting tougher. The rich will cut more corners to save a buck and the poor will needlessly suffer from this. If your on a boat that is stale, then my advise is to enjoy it. I was on one for many years and I dearly wish I was back there now. It's not easy being on the front lines where the risk for crew casulties are high and their health and well is being is sacrificed. My crew is hanging in there but wearing down quick. Its a sad fact that the owners will simply just pick up new recruits when the old ones fail and move on. However, I feel they will be leaving behind the best crew they will ever see. And someday, hopefully they will realize this. But we all know it will be too late by then. All we can do is hope for good karma in return for all the hard loyal work.
Scott
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 5:48 PM
Joined: 16/09/2009
Posts: 6


I know of a 47 Mtr yacht located in the Med whose crew have had 5 days off since March. The Capt being a very close personal friend has vented to me numerous times about the severe work load, no turn around days..... the charter walks off the owner walks on (two owner yacht). On two separate occasions the Capt had to put up a crew member in a hotel and bring in a temp because the crew member was to sick to carry on. On one occasion the Capt had the flu and had to perform her duties with no let up in schedule. Every time I speak with her she sounds like death warmed over. Yes she could quit but everyone knows the job situation at the present. The owners and management are fully aware but simply don't seem to care. It will be interesting to hear what the yachties would do if they were in her position.
twentyonemile
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 6:14 PM
Joined: 17/06/2010
Posts: 5


I think fitness is one thing and health is another. While I can't fully comment on the yacht lifestyle (as I'm here in Ft Laudy now working to break into it!) I have been a Martial Arts/Fitness instructor for some years.

In terms of staying in shape and being fit, then literally a few minutes each day snatched where you can is a good approach. Perhaps get into a routine of a few simple stretches and 25-50 push ups or sit ups first or last thing. Small amounts but in a regular routine is key here.

Health is a different game, but common sense plays a big part. If theres going to be lots of charters and no time off then it's likely the only way to do it without burning out is to eat as healthily as possible (tough sometimes) and go easy on the partying. After all it's better to be boring for a few months than to end up taking 6 off sick. Just my 2 cents anyway!

- Phil

Salvador
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 8:18 PM
Joined: 22/07/2009
Posts: 97


Hahahah!!  Great forum! 

 "If your on a boat that is stale, then my advise is to enjoy it. I was on one for many years and I dearly wish I was back there now"

That is so true. And... you've reminded me that 4 months ago I was  praying for A job, so, not to bad at all to have one!!  And ... there is allways somthing to do!!

But that kind of work must be very pleasent (?) agreeable, can't find the words...  fullfiling !!!

From the 47 m's comments I can see where the rotation option starts...!

Keep going!

Fair winds


Anonymous
Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2010 3:30 PM

Hi,

To the skin cancer person.

I've had heart problems and stroke wth 31% damaged muscle.  I latter became better prepared fisically than a lot. Even better than prossional athlets.

My sources of recovery was, wich I strongly suggest readding:

1st: Sir Martin Brofman. Doctors gave 15 days to live 30 years ago... Book: " Everything can be cured"

2nd : Macrobiotic food.

3rd :  Yoga

4th : Lots of sport and willing to live.

 Hope this helps, my 2 cents, Life is beautifull


Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 10:34 AM
Great Forum! I consider health to be very important... the day you're health is taken away from you, is the day things really start coming into focus. And the truly important things in life come to the fore-front. Our crew of 10 is living in mold infested crew quarters. We started noticing the mold in May. We've discovered that it is mostly coming from our a/c vents in each cabin. Some cabins are worse than others. For instance, the couple in the cabin next to mine is sleeping on a mattress that has mold growing on the bottom. And no amount of lysol will kill it.... this same couple has mold growing on thier shoes which hang in an organizer opposite thier a/c vent. We try to clean the vents as often as possible but it keeps growing back. I read online that mold can grow in poorly maintained condensation trays.... which i think is the culprit.... this boat is so old, we can't keep up with the maintanance! So here I am writing this, while experiencing the WORST sore throat I've ever had.... accompanied by an achy body and swollen glands. After reading online about mold exposure and how severely it can affect your health, I'm looking into changing jobs. Last week my eyes swelled almost shut, and the chef just told me his eyes are itchy and swollen now aswell. A previous stew used to get major skin rashes ... and they'd go away if she left the boat. We all complain about feeling fatigued even if we've gotten adequate sleep.... Even the couple that doesn't drink or smoke and does yoga everyday is experiencing the side effects of mold exposure. Headaches, nose bleeds, runny nose, skin rashes, sore throat, swollen glands, shortness of breath, fatigue, eye irritation, and sore joints. I'm happy to say that we are finally going to get the boat gassed to kill the mold or bacteria or whatever it is growing in our cabins. But from what I've read about mold, the problem can return. My cabin is the only place where i can go to be alone and relax. But it's hard to relax when you know what you're breathing in is affecting your health. Crew should not have to live in those sort of conditions. Let's just say, i'm putting myself and my health before my job.
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 11:29 AM
47 meter with 12 crew here again. Oh yea, did I forget to say we have mold too. Been battling it for years. And its true what they says about the mold returning. You can pay a lot of money for gasing it but it doesn't matter. It comes right back. We are too busy to clean up properly and so it always gets the best of us. The best thing I find is good 'ol scrubbing with bleach. The gas tratment is only temporary.
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 2:08 PM
I worked on a boat where a guy got real sick in panama on route from australia to europe. the captain didnt have time for his busted colon, so left him there with a crew member in a hospital when he really wanted the short flight to miami to get fixed up. Dr did ok job in panama but a year later he had to have his colon removed due to serious infections. He was leaving the boat and the captain wanted him to pay for the operation or go through his countries healthcare system as opposed to getting him straight into private. We´re talking a big yacht, big management company, insurances and all that. Eventually he got his op, which was then to remove the colon. Fair enough, the guy ate rubbish, on the boat. i knew him from a young age and he was always healthy. was really surprised to see how he deteriorated mentally and physically and quick. I was never as stressed as i was on that boat in my life. Crew changed often, work load enormous and the money was average. Blows me away how these rich people think its ok to waste , kill, consume so much. a guest orders 50kg of live seafood only to go eat at a 5000 euro a head buffet every night so they can be seen with the others. Come back to the boat to see the chef dumping all the semi moving crays into the drink. I know most yachties dont care about this, call me a hippy or whatever, but what i experienced and how i saw people get treated, i just think lifes too short. Ive since been sailing often, driving and enjoying the ocean but not as a yachtie. The money aint worth it i reckon.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Sunday, October 3, 2010 8:17 PM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


With reference to the original post 29 sept; It seems like the pass/fail criteria of the medical examinations are working exactly as intended. Vision, hearing, lungs, liver/kidney function, blood pressure and the good old BMI should not pose any trouble to the average mariner. After all, we do work hard in a very physically active environment (captains excluded). However, if a thorough psychological examination were included, I'm sure the results would be very, very different.....
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 11:39 AM
Are the physical challenges as demanding as the physiological obstacles we face on yachts? After caring for the wealthy and their yachts for three months, at anchor, in port and overnight trips I can honestly say extreme wealth comes with its own demons. For crew daily routines meld into one continuous time line, which includes hours of humdrum work, standby to standby, for lowly laundry girls, junior and deckhand’s life is all about meal breaks, bedtime and a Skype session with a loved ones and walking the owners midget dog because it is your only chance to get 100 meters from the yacht. There is much to do, but much more time to do it in, consequently peoples productivity and moral spiral downwards unless they are given something worthwhile to do. Your cabin is smaller than a jail cell and your cabin mates shoes smell like a dead cat, you can’t leave the boat because the boss is onboard and you may as well be on a space station trapped in geostationary orbit around the earth because all that is normal can only be observed and admired voyeuristicly. The entire purpose of your existence is the owner and his/her yachting fantasy. Little niggles and negative chit chat consume you, the slightest shift in the owners mood throws the boat in and out of turmoil. The owner can’t remember your name, all the sunny days you missed during the summer and will only never forget how mistrals ruined his/her plans during the summer. Yachting is not exciting, it is bloody boring and if you don’t watch your waistline stay motivated and allow yourself to behave like contestants on a survivor episode you are going to become a nutty couch potato that flips between a cycles of working, binge drinking, power shopping and complaining.
rodsteel
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 6:49 PM
Joined: 25/06/2009
Posts: 277


Anonymous wrote:
Are the physical challenges as demanding as the physiological obstacles we face on yachts? After caring for the wealthy and their yachts for three months, at anchor, in port and overnight trips I can honestly say extreme wealth comes with its own demons. For crew daily routines meld into one continuous time line, which includes hours of humdrum work, standby to standby, for lowly laundry girls, junior and deckhand’s life is all about meal breaks, bedtime and a Skype session with a loved ones and walking the owners midget dog because it is your only chance to get 100 meters from the yacht. There is much to do, but much more time to do it in, consequently peoples productivity and moral spiral downwards unless they are given something worthwhile to do. Your cabin is smaller than a jail cell and your cabin mates shoes smell like a dead cat, you can’t leave the boat because the boss is onboard and you may as well be on a space station trapped in geostationary orbit around the earth because all that is normal can only be observed and admired voyeuristicly. The entire purpose of your existence is the owner and his/her yachting fantasy. Little niggles and negative chit chat consume you, the slightest shift in the owners mood throws the boat in and out of turmoil. The owner can’t remember your name, all the sunny days you missed during the summer and will only never forget how mistrals ruined his/her plans during the summer. Yachting is not exciting, it is bloody boring and if you don’t watch your waistline stay motivated and allow yourself to behave like contestants on a survivor episode you are going to become a nutty couch potato that flips between a cycles of working, binge drinking, power shopping and complaining.


 This post brings up an interesting question.

 

Since yachts have limited space for crew relaxation when they are not on duty. What are the acceptable areas to use for relaxation and types of relaxation activities in the various areas (with guests, without guests, when in port, when anchored, when underway, at night, during the day, when guests are asleep, etc.)??

 

Rod

 


Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 7:16 PM
"a cycle of working, binge drinking, power shopping and complaining" Spot on!! but sitting here complaining is not going to help with your morale or sanity, shut the laptop open a book put some music on and chill cuz you gotta be up in a few hours to do it all over again and again and again and again!!! think of all the money you are saving towards the dream house or the surfing trip to indo!! if you cant get off the boat try downloading (overnight when nobody is using the net) some audio books, really good at the end of the day to get your mind off work and keep the brain ticking!
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 8:01 PM
Went to one particular ENG 1 Doctor, walked in feeling great, walked out needing x-rays for a bad knee, blood work for something else, ekg for high blood pressure,new diet for I was under weight.Had a good ol fashion scolding, my career just went down the drain in ten minutes plus a few hundred more dollars for all these tests that amounted to NOTHING!!! Anyone else with this problem?
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2010 9:13 PM
Can you say "Cash Cow", for the 17th St Doctor doing the MCA ENG1 exams. A certain amount of value adding seems to be going on, I had to do a EKG or ECG for no result too. Are the extra tests for the benifit of the doc or the crew member being examined is .$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 8:56 AM
Paid rotations are the way of the future. Everyone stays fit, healthy and happy.
yachtone
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 11:22 PM
Joined: 27/07/2008
Posts: 96


For those of you not wanting to contribute big bucks to the the American health services industry it may be useful to know that Cayman Islands registry accept the American Coast Guard medical, but maybe we need to have a proper checkup occasionally to show us the real cost of a high stress job (which most are now).

Rusty Wrench
Posted: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 7:44 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Correct. USCG medical is accepted by CISR which is ok for junior crew who do not hold an MCA COC. However, there is one BIG difference with which many yachties would experience difficulty; the USCG medical requires a drug test, and the MCA ENG1 does not.
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 12:40 AM
Why not stand up the owner and tell him that he's killing his crew? If only captains spoke up once in a while but it seems that the majority of them are afraid of their own shadow, let alone giving the owner a bit of lip.

Has the 47-mtr captain ever called a meeting with his owner and discussed the problem?

A healthy work regime can be achieved on yachts. I worked on a vessel that had a system in place where you accrued 1.5 days off every week which then should be taken as soon as the boss was off the boat. So a 3 week boss trip would yield 4.5 days for you to take after the trip, if you weren't able to take these days then you would get paid for them.

It can be done.

 
 Average 0.5 out of 5