I am currently trying to find a job offshore as a 3rd mate or DPO Trainee on either an osv, drilling rig, or construction vessel. I have been having some concerns about spinal fusion surgery (l4/l5) I had in 2008. I have had 2 surgeries (one in 2007 one in 2008), one to fix it and another to take out the screws (would think the fact that I had the screws out is a good thing). I am in my mid 20’s, I am very active, I snowboard, mountain bike, water ski, you name it. I workout, I can lift heavy objects from the ground up, and have a strong core. I have been cleared by my surgeon with no limitations, and have been completely issue and pain free since recovering from the last surgery. I have passed all of my USCG physicals, and had no problems at school or with commercial shipping (which was offshore, but had no physical).
Recently I was offered a job at tidewater. I went down, passed the physical, but they requested my medical records from the surgery. After about a month, and having another doctor look at the MRI that they took in LA, they turned me down. They said that I was passed, and cleared for the job, however with limitations. They said that the doctor told them I was limited to lifting 45 lbs. Since they have fire extinguishers that weigh 50 lbs, they said I would be unable to lift them, and therefore couldn’t work on their boats. I told them that I have passed many firefighting courses, and that my suitcase weighs 50 lbs, however that didn’t seem to matter at all. I understand that companies do this due to insurance purposes, and to avoid future law suits, however if it is a completely fixed condition I would think that it could be dealt with.
I have several companies that are interested in me, and want to have me down, and I was just wondering if I have a chance with any of them, or if all their doctors will put a nonsense restriction on me and therefore say that they cant have me working on the ship.
I am very motivated, and would do anything to prove that I can do the job as good if not better than any other 3rd mate that has never had back surgery.
Just wanted to know if anyone has any experience with this, or has any advice. It is tough to know what to do in this situation (knowing that you are perfectly capable and qualified for the job, but you might be turned down because of something that happened out of your control many years ago).
Also, does anyone know how Noble drilling’s physical and medical check is, and if I have a chance at passing it? Or McDermott, Seadrill, Atwood (these are the companies that are interested in me), or any other offshore companies?
I know there has been posts on this in the past, however they didn’t go into much detail.
Thank you in advance to any responders, I really appreciate your input.