Some young seafarers consider the tankage to be something special and outstanding, a place where great salaries are being paid if to compare with the dry-cargo vessels, a place where a substantial experience from the very start can be gained, as well as a much higher social status. Moreover, as the seafarers see it, if you have been on the tanker, you would not be scared of any kind of labour any more, because it goes without saying that you are required, because you are the genuine elite.
I don’t feel like either approving or disapproving the above statement as I have never been a seafarer myself, I’m an international lawyer, being this or that way connected with the seafarers’ problems. That’s why I can only judge by the statistics in my disposal as for the stream of the seafarers to the tankage, the illnesses and injuries sustained there.
I can say for sure, that regardless the stream of volunteers to get to the tankers is great, the one of those willing to leave for the dry-cargo vessels is not the less. The reasons? Everything is trivially easy. Far not each the seafarer is ready to match the high requirements and not each is ready to do his best at work, regardless the salary level.
The only process of the paperworking is too much. It’s not a secret that on the tankage the paperwork is much more substantial, and even to open a single palm you should compile a number of papers. And the paperwork itself takes a lot of time and, as a rule, starts far before the port call. Moreover, there are constant commissions, inspections and surveys, and it never stops all voyage long in every port call.
Besides, many seafarers are complaining and are willing to quit the tankage on the ground of, say, prohibitions implemented on the tankers and because of the increased safety requirements.
For example, the seafarer can be signed off for the cigarette end left in a wrong place or for smoking beyond the smoking room.
I can say for sure that for my 17 years of dealing with the seafarers’ affairs, the very tankage seafarers are subjected to the risk of getting cancer, especially if we speak about long staying aboard the chemical carriers. Of course many crewings will be sceptical as for my words, referring to some statistics and to the proved safety of the tankage, but I have the opposite data.
Very frequently there are some leaks aboard the chemical carriers, and as they deal with extremely toxic cargo, their effect on the human organism just can’t be left traceless.
And regardless the Safety First and the seafarers while clearance of the tankers should be in the protective costumes, the latest can’t provide 100% guarantee protection to the seafarer.
That’s why the chemical carriers increase the risk of getting cancer among the seafarers. And the more times you go to the sea aboard the chemical carrier, the more evident is the risk.