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8 of the Most Common Seafaring Myths Debunked

Seafaring is rife with myths from piracy to infidelity to illiteracy. But how much of it is true? The maritime industry has come a long way since its swashbuckling heyday so join us as we peel back the truth on 8 of its most common myths.

Myth 1: Seafaring is dangerous

Fact:

Safety is of utmost importance while on board a ship and companies implement strict SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) that follow international regulations to ensure this. On top of rigorous workplace safety training, seafarers are also provided with security plans and precautions such as anti-piracy nets, fire hoses and barbed wire to ward off uninvited guests

Myth 2: Seafarers have low wages

Fact:

Seafarers can command very competitive salary packages which offer wages of up to S$12,000 per month and long vacations every year. Throw in the fact that most of the everyday expenses are covered while at sea (e.g. food, accommodation, and internet) and it’s easy to see how seafarers can come out on top financially.

Myth 3: Seafaring is boring

Fact:

Every day brings new challenges and many of the recreational activities that you can find onshore, such as ping-pong and gyms, can now be found on ships. But most importantly, seafaring gives you the opportunity to explore our world in a unique way. Seeing the world’s sea lanes, sunsets and sides of countries that tourists will never be able to see make seafaring anything but boring.

Myth 4: Seafaring is like going on paid holidays

Fact:

It’s both a myth and a fact. While there will be the times when you can make full use of shuttles from the ports to explore nearby cities, seafarers sail the high seas for work so there isn’t all too much time for play. And even then, not all ships travel to places that you’d want to go. Some may visit ports which either restrict crew members from coming onshore or are located too far away from tourist hotspots to warrant sightseeing. But all this hard work is more than made up for when you go on your long, and uninterrupted, break for up to 3 months!

Myth 5: Seafarers are uneducated

Fact:

Seafaring attracts many high-scoring students and degree-educated mid-career switchers due to the enticing benefits that it offers. In addition, working in the industry requires certain certifications such as the TNTA (Tripartite Nautical Training Award) and the TETA (Tripartite Engineering Training Award) – two and a half year courses that include on-the-job training and classroom examinations.

Myth 6: Seafarers have an easy life

Fact:

A career in seafaring comes with effort rather than ease. Aside from being away from family and friends for extended periods of time, seafarers have to work in a high-pressure, multi-cultural, ever-changing environment that requires split decision making and lifelong learning.

Myth 7: Seafarers are better off single

Fact:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say! But seriously, any long day of work is made all the more meaningful knowing that you have a significant other waiting for you back ashore and that your time spent at sea is also building a financial future for you together. Senior seafarers also often have the privilege of the benefit of being able to bring their spouses and families aboard their ships so yes, you can have your cake and eat it.

Myth 8: Seafarers have girlfriends at every port

Fact:

Seafarers are usually way too busy to play around – whether that is due to working, sleeping or enjoying the short amount of time that they get to rest at the port. Plus, spending time away from loved ones can, in turn, strengthen bonds and teach seafarers the value of committed relationships.

There you have it! Seafaring myths debunked and hopefully laying your fears and worries to rest. If you’re keen to find out more about our seafarer training programmes, click below to receive notification for our upcoming cohort!

 

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