Could this condition be Waived?

So I was a BM with the Navy nearly twenty years back… did my four and split. If we are being honest I have never really enjoyed any work I’ve done since, after enough years I was seriously wanting to try to find work as a Merchant Mariner. I am wondering though, before I go wasting any time, whether or not my situation is a deal breaker?

That situation is that I had stage 3 Sarcoma type cancer almost ten years ago, it was cut out and they are pretty confident they got it all… I am told I am cancer free, HOWEVER the tumor was large and they removed my supraspinatus muscle, which impacts my left arms forward flexion(lifting my straight arm straight forward from the hip to the waist)

I am still physically capable, and have even done some construction since then, my only HARD limitation is I can’t reach far out to the left and work while at the top of a ladder and even then can usually find a way around it as my deltoid is intact so the arm still works when out to the left instead of forward.

Can anyone tell me whether I should proceed or if I’d best just let it go? Thank you in advance for any input.

I think you could actually do many, if not most seagoing jobs. Some companies would not hire you, but many would.

Why don’t not you go to a doctor for a standard USCG physical on form 719- k, and see if you can pass. That only costs about $100.

The fact that you had cancer 10 years ago that is now in remission isn’t going to matter.


Thank you, That is actually much more promising sounding than I thought it would be. Can I ask one follow up question, in your experience is being 40 when you begin as an ordinary seamen fairly common or will that look weird out there? not going to stop me either way but I would like to get ahead of any potential barriers and I know that is an issue in other trades I’ve worked in. I appreciate the help very much.

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I had a captain who started as an OS in his early 50s. There are lots of guys in this industry that are on their second, third, fourth career. You get the point.


It’s quite common on tugs to get new guys in their 40s. Most of us are much older. There are very few kids in their 20s.


Thank you, it’s good to hear.

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Thank’s for your insight, I appreciate it.

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I was an Engineman for 4 years before I started working the civilian side, so I feel compelled to give you an answer shippie. I would say limited movement would be a deal breaker for many, but not all companies, and that’s not even considering the STCW, etc that require much the same as swimming / survival at sea deal we did in the Navy. But I have seen many people overcome limitations like that. I would just keep plugging at it. I think tugs would be more permissive of that sort of thing, and they would be an ideal environment for you to transition; less structured and regimented. I wish you the best of luck.