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Off to sea for the first time - so stop to think!

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  • Off to sea for the first time - so stop to think!

    To all you first trippers, off to sea over the next few weeks I hope you all have a fabulous first trip.

    There is a serious side to this post though. Many of you will have done confined spaces courses over the last few weeks and not paid 100% attention. I just want to tell all of you to be so vigilant on this trip, and all future ones, and think before you go into any space.

    In 2009 a first trip cadet from Warsash, 4 weeks and 3 days into his first voyage, died in a tanker pumproom incident which was avoidable. His name, and the ship are not important in the context of this thread so please do not get into debate as to cause, fault and blame. As a 17 year old only child this was a horrendous tragedy for his family. This is not something any parent can comprehend or ever want to deal with, and my thoughts are with his family because I do not want to even contemplate getting a call like that.

    But what I can do is remind you all that you are entering an adult world, full of dangers, some hidden, and you need to have your wits about you at ALL times. Please, please, please do not become a statistic. Whilst at home you may have periods of time you switch off and things happen. At sea the consequences are more severe, so don't!

    I remember a cadet on one ship I was on, running down the deck and jumping through a watertight door in drydock. In the process of hurdling he forgot about the top of the door edge and hit it with full force. His scalp was peeled back over the front 1/3 of his skull and he was lucky not to have a skull fracture, but he did have a Frankenstein scar across his forehead afterwards. the only saving grace was that we were in drydock.

    Those of you who are doing your confined spaces course this week, think and concentrate 100% of the time, it may save yours, and others, lives. Even when an incident occurs you MUST stop and think and keep your wits about you. Again going back to my time at sea, two people collapsed in a tank and two more died because they rushed in to rescue them without stopping to think.

    Just because you have done your EDH, tanker familiarisation, lifeboat and all the other courses do not mean you know it all. Now is when you all start to learn your profession, so pin your ears back, pay attention, ask questions and learn like your life depends on it - because it does.

    I am not a religious person, but there is a quote that springs to mind from the bible ..... "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." Bear it in mind.

    Be safe - and have a fabulous time.

    "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

    "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.