Last Updated on February 4, 2024
The marine industry makes up a more comprehensive spectrum than most people would ever realize. The truth is that seafaring is a critical part of the lives of humanity, something that has been taking place since many centuries ago, with a rich history that one could never imagine.
Mariners: The Unsung Heroes of the Shipping Industry
The different countries of the world and their respective economies have gone through a significant change since the rise of global shipping trade. All those towering buildings, stunning sculptures, the fuel used for driving and mass transportation, the breakthrough technological wonders, the revolutionary innovations, automobiles, clothing, and food are made possible thanks to the standardized and systematic shipping industry that society enjoys to this day.
But behind these are the unknown and untold stories of the workforce of hardworking men and women. They are the mariners working hard day and night to ensure that their vessels carry and transport many consignments and cargoes.
They ensure that everything is delivered on time and in the safest manner possible, even to the world’s remotest corners. Their vessels sail far and wide, serving as the backbone of various economies, especially those primarily relying on logistics and shipping.
Thus, there is no question that mariners have enjoyed an esteemed status since the development of humanity. Thanks to them, shipping has become the lifeline that paved the way to the success and survival of the world’s economies.
While farmers show, rinse, and reap their harvest to ensure that their families and the world will have food on the table, seafarers are the same. These mariners are responsible for carrying food products, finished goods, and energy resources that everyone needs to survive and thrive.
This distinct and somewhat low-key sector of society comprised of professional seafarers has existed since immemorial, working without delays and obstructions through the years to help the whole world continue its functions.
But here’s the thing: not everyone can become a mariner. These experts have several unique qualities that set them apart from others. These traits and characteristics allow them to give their best shot in what they do.
Since most vessels and ships carry highly critical and sometimes dangerous cargo, the people who operate these ships must undergo the necessary training and are armed with all the essential qualities and skills to ensure a smooth and safe sailing.
Although there are numerous qualities that seafarers are expected to have as they work on-board ships, the following are the top 10 essential skills to survive at sea coming straight from expert mariners:
Adaptability is a way of life for mariners rather than something they choose to do. All seafarers are expected to be able to adapt and keep up with different conditions, situations, and people. The job of a mariner is always filled with new and unique challenges onboard every single day.
They will have difficulty surviving on board if they adapt to the environment. They will also find it challenging to deal with people from different nationalities if they don’t know how to cope.
To ensure a positive atmosphere is achieved and maintained onboard, mariners should learn to interact with people of various cultures and beliefs. A ship’s successful operation is dependent on its crew and its cooperation. Mariners must know how to adapt to all kinds of circumstances to prevent delays or issues with the smooth flow and operation onboard.
It’s also essential for mariners to hone their communication skills. Proper communication must always involve appropriate feedback and acknowledgment. Unfortunately, most accidents aboard ships are the result of communication breakdowns.
To achieve effective communication, every crew member must learn how to say things while the rest either correct or agree with it accordingly. This will help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts throughout the trip.
3. Decision making
When a severe problem arises, decision-making is a critical skill to have for survival. Whether you like it or not, there will always come a point when you must make a harsh decision and stick to it, especially if you are responsible and in charge of things.
Mariners will always encounter challenging situations like a malfunction in the ship’s machinery or adverse weather. Once these things happen, seafarers must know and consider all their available options and decide on the best thing to do and the most suitable course of action to take.
Before troubleshooting onboard, mariners must create a suitable plan to resolve the issue. It is during such times that decision-making is a critical skill to have.
The hold on discipline should never relax mariners at sea during their working hours or even rest time. Assertive discipline is required when working at sea since a disorganized approach may compromise everyone when dire situations arise.
Fear is the worst enemy of any mariner. Sailors will find it difficult to survive if they fear everything at sea. As such, they need to develop the skill of conquering their fears and letting their courage take its place.
Mariners must be brave enough and ready to carry out their duties in the best way possible, irrespective of the restrictions or conditions that might hinder them. A simple mechanical function shouldn’t cause an entire ship to come to a complete stop. When such situations arise, the whole crew must work together to solve the crisis and continue their trip as soon as possible.
6. Hard Working
Mariners are unquestionably hard-working. They follow a certain work ethic when they board a ship. But working hard alone is never enough. They must also know how to work smartly to finish their task efficiently and on time.
Leadership is the backbone of safe sea travel. This skill makes a big difference to the overall success of any journey. An effective leader knows his team members and their specific strengths and weaknesses. They also know how to meet the needs of each member and how to bring out the best in all crew members.
The journey will be more accessible and more complimentary from delays if everyone comes together and gives their best shot. It doesn’t matter if you’re in charge of the whole ship or just the engine room; you still need to have the qualities of a good leader that will allow you to guide the crew and create solutions during challenging situations and worst-case scenarios.
A professional mariner must always be punctual. Since the crew manages and transports cargo worth several million dollars, even the slightest delay may result in a colossal financial loss. All mariners are expected to be punctual on watches. They should stick to the agreed deadlines and keep up with their grind to deliver the cargo right on schedule without reducing its total value.
Every member of the crew has their responsibility and task onboard. You can’t just rely on someone else to do your job on your behalf. Every seaman must know how to take responsibility and be accountable for everything entrusted to them.
Last but not least, a professional mariner must know and value the importance of teamwork. You can only work on board some of your own. As the adage goes, teamwork always makes the dream work. Everyone must join forces to keep things running smoothly and seamlessly.