Deciding to go onboard and leave his family behind is a tough decision a seafarer makes. However, there are also a lot of reasons why, after some time, a seafarer decides to quit his job. Some of these reasons include the following:
They live unsustainable lifestyle.
Filipinos are known to be a race where keeping family ties is as important as breathing every day. Being away from a seafarer’s loved ones is a torture for him, and therefore, a Filipino seafarer finds it very uncomfortable and lonely to be away from his family. Thus, this is one of the many and most common reasons why seafarers choose to quit their jobs.
Tough maritime laws and hectic life onboard.
Tough maritime laws have made the lives of seafarers more and more stressful. Despite being known to be hard workers, there are several Filipino seafarers, especially those at the management level who choose to quit because the job has become unbearable and difficult. Upsurge in paperwork, advance training guidelines, new codes, and more demanding safety and environmental laws have made the life of these seafarers extremely hectic onboard.
Politics at work.
Differences in opinions become the cause of disputes and misunderstandings onboard a cruise ship, tanker or bulk carrier. This makes it even harder for a seafarer as politics and conflicts not only make work more difficult, but they also affect the socialization of the group of people on board for an extended period.
Every single individual is brought up in a social environment, especially Filipinos. They are used to hang around with numerous comrades. When these people are suddenly confined into the corners of the ship, negative effects such as frustration, loneliness, and homesickness start to sink in. A sense of emptiness is felt, and lack of interaction and limitation in movement further make a seafarer’s life more miserable. It takes a lot of courage and mental steadiness to keep a calm and focused mind. The inability to cope with this kind of life is one reason why many seafarers quit.
For a seafarer to be able to go on board, he needs to meet stringent medical and health requirements. However, life on board the ship is not even close to healthy. Seafarers suffer erratic sleeping schedules, extreme working stress, unfavorable environment, inaccessibility to fresh foods, and inadequate medical facilities that affect a seafarer’s health drastically. Seafarers diagnosed with health conditions are obliged to quit sailing.
Better opportunities elsewhere.
If given a chance that he’d be able to provide for his family without having to travel frequently, then he would give up this job. Seafarers immediately choose to quit their job when offered a chance to work in a shipping company or allowed to work on land related to the shipping and maritime industry with a wage at par with that on the sea.
Reduction of crew members.
When an economic crisis occurs, companies are utilizing every technique possible to cut back expenses and overhead costs. One of the ways shipping companies came up with to cut off expenses is to reduce the number of crew members hired. This results in an increase in workload without any increase in remuneration.
Risks and hazards at work.
Seafarers involved in transporting high-risk materials such as flammable liquids, explosives, radioactive waste, and similar types are often safeguarded with protective suits and other safety measures. Yet, accidents can happen. Those who ply routes where pirates prowl the seas such as in the Arabian Sea near Somalia may trigger fear and those who can’t take the risk to quit their jobs.
Life can be tough as a seafarer. The loneliness struggles at the workplace and challenges that were not anticipated before boarding a ship can sometimes be unbearable. Therefore, families should extend a warm connection through simple ways of communication, expressing gratitude for their hard work, and inspire them.