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Laser Eye Surgery and the ENG1

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  • Laser Eye Surgery and the ENG1

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering if having laser eye surgery to correct your vision impacts on your ENG1. I dont need it at the moment but my vision is too close to the limit for comfort. Given the possible impact on night vision, would it still be possible, or would I be shooting myself in the foot?


  • #2
    Hi TallMan, if you haven't already have a look at page 237 of the MCA Doctors Manual (


    • #3
      I got to page 230 but gave up. The story just wasnt engaging!

      Thanks for the info though, bit on the harsh side in terms of regs on this!


      • #4
        I may be wrong, but as long as you're OK your first ENG1 and there's no significant pathology as to why your eyesight's getting worse, I don't think it's a huge issue if it gradually worsens beyond the limits but can still be corrected.
        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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        • #5
          The most important point is the following:

          If a seafarer decides to undertake the procedure and returns for
          reassessment, the Standards require you to make them temporarily
          unfit for lookout duties for 6 months after surgery. On retesting, they
          can be issued with a short term unrestricted ENG 1 until stability is

          I know someone recently who lost his ENG1 after having laser surgery, unfortunately he had complications afterwards. I believe this is very rare though.


          • #6
            If I did it at the start of one of my college phases, would I still be able to train?


            • #7
              As a deck cadet you'd be unfit for lookout duties, thus couldn't accrue watchkeeping time. I would recommend speaking to an ENG1 Medical Examiner before having any surgery.

              As an aside, for a Commercial Airline Pilot's Class 1 Medical, the limitations are much less stringent and the medical is only suspended for 3 months.


              • #8
                Yet more needless picking on the Seafarer...just as well most of us have broad shoulders!
                Trust me I'm a Chief.

                Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.

                Twitter:- @DeeChief


                • #9
                  I wear contacts, and did actually consider the surgery. I also hold a UK Class 1 Commercial Pilots Medical, and explained that the CAA would allow me to fly single pilot or airline on that medical 3 months after the surgery (which means it could be done in an extended leave period), yet for a ship travelling at 15 knots I would lose my medical for 6 months and I thought it was ridiculous. The reply I got was that they don't have anyone specifically employed to deal with medical matters and just to follow the rules. One ENG1 Medical Examiner I visited who has had laser eye surgery said that he'd issue the medical anyway... In all honesty though, if something happened that would legally put us both in the....


                  • #10
                    Don't worry about it, I was in a position worse than yours about 14 months ago; I KNEW I would fail the medical on the eyesight exam. I went for laser eye surgery, and got perfect results. When I went for my medical, I said I had eye surgery, but there were no complications, and the doctor was happy with that. Didn't say anything more about it. My advice to you would be if you can afford it, go for it, it won't make any difference to the medical.