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Deck Officer- Is there much work with vertigo inducing heights, training/qualified?

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  • Deck Officer- Is there much work with vertigo inducing heights, training/qualified?

    Hi,

    I've been reading up on the prospects of becoming a deck officer. This forum has been incredibly helpful, thanks!

    My slight vertigo is one potential sticking point I can see as potentially troublesome...

    I've done a search here, and read about/watched videos of the free-fall lifeboats & the 3.5m diving board plunge, both of which I think I'll be okay with. I'll also be fine when in a secure ship's bridge etc.

    Are there any other significant duties that I should be aware of; climbing masts etc? I read an article about German (Navy) cadets refusing to climb the rigging (which they had to do with no safety apparatus) after one of their number fell 100ft http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...0ft-death.html
    ... There is no way I could ever do something like this! Would being a deck officer entail climbing up to 'crow's nest' platforms and such like?

  • #2
    Well we tend not to racing up to do the rigging anymore, although we do always have someone up a "crows-nest" at the bow of the ship. Someone needs to sit up there, scratch their backside and keep an eye out for icebergs right?

    Right, my mildly sarcastic comment aside, it is rather unusual to see a deckie up a mast these days. Normally it's an engineer fixing a piece of equipment or the Electrician changing some light bulbs. Both tasks requiring a Risk Assessment to be done and a Permit to Work being completed and all those going up the mast or over the side to wear a safety harness. When a ship is taken over, then a deckie is swung is over the side to paint the vessel's new name on, but that is only on take-overs.

    However, would you be affected by checking normal lowering life-boats? Those are normally a few meters up off the deck?
    I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

    All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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    • #3
      Hi there and welcome

      There is a degree of working at height - particularly where lifeboats are concerned. Open fast rescue boats might cause you an issue, as in this picture (click to make bigger - boat is 6 decks above the waterline):

      5863368338_874b1f5697_z.jpg

      You'll be given safety training for working aloft and over the side, and you might be expected to do so either in a bosun's chair, on a painters stage or in a window-cleaners style basket. You may need to go up the mast to replace navigation lights. These jobs are usually done by the deck ratings, but you might need to do them.

      There's also often glass deck pieces on the bridge wings to give a view of the ship's side below.

      It's a difficult one to call really, but you will always have safety gear. The German naval cadets were likely on a tall ship, where it's common not to clip on to anything while climbing up, but you clip on for difficult parts like getting up on to platforms or when out on the yards.

      Hope this helps!

      CD
      Last edited by CharlieDelta; 31 August 2011, 02:43 AM.
      sigpic
      Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies guys!

        My personal vertigo is kind of selective...

        * With the lifeboats, I think that having water at the bottom rather than a solid (splat inducing) floor would be tolerable.

        * Even going over the side in a hoist should be okay for the same reason. I've actually even done a bit of climbing/abseiling, and been okay.

        * Glass floor in the bridge, no worries.

        ... Climbing a mast to replace a light however... That could well be the deal breaker!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by simonator View Post
          Thanks for the replies guys!

          My personal vertigo is kind of selective...

          * With the lifeboats, I think that having water at the bottom rather than a solid (splat inducing) floor would be tolerable.

          * Even going over the side in a hoist should be okay for the same reason. I've actually even done a bit of climbing/abseiling, and been okay.

          * Glass floor in the bridge, no worries.

          ... Climbing a mast to replace a light however... That could well be the deal breaker!
          Shouldn't be a problem then. Like I said, I've never seen a deckie go up the mast, just us and the Electricians...
          I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

          All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by simonator View Post
            Thanks for the replies guys!

            My personal vertigo is kind of selective...

            * With the lifeboats, I think that having water at the bottom rather than a solid (splat inducing) floor would be tolerable.

            * Even going over the side in a hoist should be okay for the same reason. I've actually even done a bit of climbing/abseiling, and been okay.

            * Glass floor in the bridge, no worries.

            ... Climbing a mast to replace a light however... That could well be the deal breaker!
            Shouldn't be a problem then. Like I said, I've never seen a deckie go up the mast, it's normally just us and the Electricians...

            Then again, I've yet to see a deckie do anything akin to work so you should be alright. :-)
            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
              Then again, I've yet to see a deckie do anything akin to work so you should be alright. :-)
              Ha ha... yeah... I don't know why anyone would want to go into the engineering line! :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by simonator View Post
                Ha ha... yeah... I don't know why anyone would want to go into the engineering line! :-)
                Perhaps an interest in engineering......

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                • #9
                  There is actually quite a bit of working at height. You might end up on a vessel where you don't have an electrician to change your bulbs for you so expect to climb the mast once or twice. What you also have to think about though are the holds in cargo vessels, a big tanker will have a very deep hole for you to occasionally climb down, a container ship also has very deep holds, and you might have to climb up onto lashing platforms, or go over the side of the accommodation on a stage. Then if you go onto a specialist boat like a buoy tender you could spend a lot of time sitting on top of navigation buoys and they are not small.

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