Getting back to work

I have been out of work for a few years(Disability) due to a head injury. Before that I work about 15 years on boat, mostly small passenger vessels but also on tugs, Freighters and crew boats. Both in the the engine room and the pilot house. At first they told me they would grandfather me in for Master of Towing Vessels but they they reviewed it a second time and said they couldn’t get in touch with the company in the Gulf so I was denied. Probably for the best as I had limited tug experience

I have @1800 sea days in writing. With 90 days of recency I can upgrade to 500 GL master 1600 GL Mate

My license was renewed for continuity only and now I am renewing it for use. 100ton master/AB Any Deck Rating. Radar is now expired too. Twic is still good.

Working mostly on the Lakes and Gulf I don’t have STCW. I will be looking for work as an AB for now. While I prefer working in the engine room (especially on old boats), I don’t feel like starting over with my sea time. So I will end up back in the pilot house, unless there is a good training program that I can use to advance more quickly in engineering.

The VA will pay for me to take industry related classes. What classes might help my chances of employment?

BST is one. Can I take a Tankerman/PIC class and then get the time/ discharges?

I may just go ahead and take whatever is needed for the 500 ton.

Below is most of my work history.

Captain, Michigan Maritime Museum, South Haven, Mi, 05-09[/B]
56 net ton, Traditionally rigged passenger sailing vessel, operated in Lake Michigan and Huron

[B]Squad Leader, Michigan Army National Guard, Infantry, 2000-09 [/B][/I][B]Deployed to Baghdad 06-07 as a Team Leader[/B]
[B]Engine Utility/AB,[/B][/I][B] ABCD Marine, New Vessel Deliveries 2004-05[/B]
Worked in the engine room of the new Staten Island Ferries for the deliveries from Marinette Marine to New York, EMD 16-710’s, Diesel Electric AC
[B]Engine Utility, AB, Pere Marquette Shipping, 1999 and 2004 [/B][/I]
Stood an engine room watch, operated, repaired and maintained equipment, 12-278A Cleveland’s, Diesel Electric DC, also worked on deck in ’99 operating unloading equipment

[I][B]Captain, Windy of Chicago[/B],[/I] [B]2003[/B]
Operated 4 masted sailing vessel, 150 passenger, I did not return the next year due to military obligations
Unlicensed Engineer, Beaver Island Boat Co., 2001-03 [/B]Operated and maintained engine room equipment, Cat 3512’s, operated unloading equipment, wheelman
Captain, Diamond B Marine, New Iberia, LA, 1997-98, WInters
[/B]Operated crew boats and push boats, supplying inland oil rigs
AB/Wheelman/Watchman, Inland Steel, 1997 Fall[/B]
Traverse Tall Ship Co., Captain/mate/deckhand, 1995-99, Summers[/B]

Other passenger vessels before this.

I am interested in your opinions.

The head injury may be a deal breaker for some of the GOM companies. They seem very hesitant to hire anyone with any kind of medical history. I would get whatever you can get fro the USCG, definitely renew RADAR, you might be able to get on with one of the crew boat companies (possibly in an unlicensed engineer capacity), there are plenty of them listed in various threads here, just do a search. Thank you for your service and good luck.

I have a physical scheduled next week. I don’t expect a problem. If a company has an issue with a prior head injury I will argue that it is all covered by the VA and does not affect performance.

Why would you even tell anyone you had a head injury?

I mean unless you have a scar running down your face who cares and who will know,hell a buddy just went to work for tidewater, he has diabetes that is well controlled and he sure did not tell them.i wouldn’t tell anybody about anything unless it’s very noticeable

[QUOTE=capjim;74537]Why would you even tell anyone you had a head injury?[/QUOTE]

[B]Why would you lie?[/B]

Sure good point but if you got bills to pay and a family to feed? I’d call it a “white lie”

[QUOTE=capjim;74541]Sure good point but if you got bills to pay and a family to feed? I’d call it a “white lie”[/QUOTE]

[B]Yeah, honesty was more of a detriment in some places I’ve worked. But getting caught in a “white” one, could be pretty scarring itself. ?? [/B]

Of course you are correct but a guys gotta do what it takes to keep working.theres a retired coast guard person that helps mariners with renewals and or renewal issues.this persons exact words to me we’re do not put down you’ve ever been to the doctor other than coast guard physicals,company physicals,or a runny nose.

I all ways tell the truth… at work.

And I often just keep my mouth shut, when I can control myself.

As far as getting a job and the physical, I won’t offer anything i am not asked about.

May be I will take the QMED course at MPT.

Looking through my sea time I see i have 407 days as “engineer” on two boats, 3000hp and @1200hp. Unfortunately the seatime doesn’t mention what position I was in.

Another 33 days engine room on a big tug. I have another 6 months as a engine utility but nothing in writing.

Any way that first one looks like tit meets the QMED minimum requirements for the course. I just need to contact the company and get a clarification letter.

Maybe with a QMED and an AB I would be more valuable to a company.

[QUOTE=capjim;74537]Why would you even tell anyone you had a head injury?[/QUOTE]

As a practical matter, there is no telling what databases they may have access too. Everything is computerized nowadays. Some of the forms you fill out give them access to your medical records. With all of the paperwork you have to fill out… “Check the box of you have ever had any of the following…” “…Anyone found to have falsely represented information…” blah blah blah. If it is something you had to report to the USCG (and not reporting truthfully on the USCG physical exam form is a felony I believe) then yeah, I’d say you’d be better off reporting it.

[QUOTE=capjim;74537]Why would you even tell anyone you had a head injury?[/QUOTE]

You are on very shaky ground when you start hidding things that you had better be reporting to the coast guard. I just lost a job with Tidewater because I am diabetic, and it is under control. They have access to the coast guard and if you get caught in a lie you may find yourself not working anywhere that requires coast guard papers. Especially diabetes, as they started all this medical crap whn the guy ran a ferry into a dock because he lied about his diabetes. DON’T LIE WHERE THE COAST GUARD IS INVOLVED. It could come back to haunt your future employment.

My buddy was diagnosed with diabetes about nine months ago and put on oral medication,the doctor told him if he lost fifty or a hundred pounds it would probably go away “he weighed 405 pounds” he changed his eating and started riding a bike daily and as of now weighs 334 hence the doctor made him stop all medication and all is well.all this fell in between renewals so there was no reason to check the box that asks have you ever been treated for or diagnosed with diabetes.

Yes there is a reason. “Have you ever been” does not mean “are you currently”…

Why would you tell them?just so they could have something to use against you ?

I’m not saying you have to tell them, but there is a reason. If it ever becomes a problem you lied and thats a felony, but they have to catch you. It’s your call…

I guess I made the right decision getting my captains license rather than going to a ministry college.:slight_smile:

I just talked to a local ITB,

$18 an hour for AB’s…That sucks. I know the boat and it is a lot of dirty work. I like the boat and the routes, but. I made that much 15 years ago. I understand that there will be overtime.

What are other boats paying when paying hourly?

Just take the local job, get some current experience, study for your licenses, and see what you can turn that job into. That’s the path of least resistance. The best time to look for a job is when you don’t need one.