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Working without a medical

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  • Working without a medical

    Hello Gents

    This is my second year applying for merchant navy courses after being turned down last year due to my lack of life experience (I was just out of school with no work experience etc).

    However around the time i was planning on re-applying (February of this year) I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (the insulin dependent kind) which not only screwed my chances of getting a merchant navy cadetship in the UK, since it seems that i would only be able to get a limited medical if any. It also my screwed alternative career choice that I had planned in the armed forces where they just don't let you in at all.

    So my question is, leaving the the issue of my own ability to operate at sea which I am entirely confident of as I am currently a volunteer lifeboat crew member and employed as a builder neither of which have been adversely effected by my condition, with the exception of a new medical required for my lifeboat volunteering, would there be any way I could train and operate outside the UK either without having to declare my medical past or where it wouldn't be so much of an issue. Ive looked briefly into training in the Philippines but found it difficult to find any good sources of information.

    Failing that is there anyway i could still get into a maritime career in the UK without any sort of medical?

    Any input would be welcome however any lecturing about how if I'm not able to pass an MCA medical i shouldn't be at sea anyway will most likely be disreguarded.


  • #2
    I'm afraid the short answer is: No ENG1 = No career at sea. It's simply not possible to get work on a ship without one.

    It may be worth forking out the ?80 to go to an MCA approved doctor for an ENG examination, you might be able to get a restricted ENG, whereby you would only be able to work on coastal ships that never go out of helicopter evac range. Not what you're after I know, but better than nothing surely?


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    • #3
      A maritime career is still available, but not as a serving crewman or officer onboard a vessel. As S4 has said, no ENG1 then no working on ship and that is an international thing, not UK specific so you will end up failing abroad too. Whilst I'm sure some of our more less enlightened members will come along and say "You can buy them in some countries!", yes you can, but don't expect any half decent company to hire you on that basis and to be honest that is something I would stay away from anyways. With the work that goes on on board you are much better off being as open and honest as you can with employers.

      Now we've gone through all the negative stuff, lets look at what you can do in a positive way. You don't have to work on a ship to be within the maritime industry, we have lots of other roles available. If you want to go through those then we can do.

      One small piece of advice though, be very careful with the attitude. I understand you want to work at sea, but telling people that you will disregard answers you don't want to hear is not the best way to go about things.
      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.


      • #4
        Might be worth looking into crewing on smaller vessels, tugs, pilot boats, windfarm support vessels, crew transfer boats, dredgers, buoy maintenance vessels etc. Which you might be able to work on either with a restricted ENG1 or an ML5. Would probably start as a deckhand and work your way up to mate or skipper through exams and courses rather than a cadetship style of training, but still worth a go.


        • #5
          OP here

          Thanks for the information guys. I was already aware of the limited medical but I've heard that many companies and training agencies dont want to take on people with such restrictions, however Ill put some research into running inland boats, still rather dissapointed since it was the travel which first drew me to the marine career.

          Also my apologies for the attitude in the first post, id been asking around for information and I had gotten so many uninformed replies saying that if I was not fit to work in the nanny state that is the UK then it is morally wrong to seek work elsewhere in the same field etc etc. And as someone who works full time climbing around on roofs I took a bit of offence being told that I was simply medically unfit to do the job.


          • #6
            The Medical in the Philippines is actually MUCH more thorough than the ENG 1 in the UK bizarrely..
            I know of people with Type 2 working on restricted medicals on cruise ships with a Dr. onboard, but type 1... I really don't think there is any chance of a deep sea career unfortunately. having said that I would speak with the MCA or with your Doctor to discuss options for coastal work or tugs etc.
            I usually like 'workarounds' but you will have one hell of a job hiding this condition in the longer term not to mention the risks involved in doing so.
            Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.


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