No Gcaptain = no work

Gone are the days of the $10 min sat phone…

Via KVH maritime news

POOR ONBOARD INTERNET ACCESS
FRUSTRATES SEAFARERS
Poor onboard Internet access has become
an important factor for seafarers as they
have started considering whether to remain
working at sea.
As per a new study conducted by the EU
as part of its major research project on the
shortage of maritime skills, inadequate
communications with family and friends
may force seafarers to find shore-based
jobs. The study also reveals that combined
with a ‘more coherent and visionary
approach’ to human resources in shipping,
the provision of improved communications
facilities onboard would deliver a
substantial increase in the seafarer
retention rate.
The EU has spent around EUR 1.5
million to implement the project aimed at
investigating ways to improving the image
of the shipping industry and also to
enhance the attractiveness of maritime
careers.
The findings are based on a survey of
more than 500 seafarers of 24 different
nationalities. Almost 75% of those
interviewed were officers.
Around two-thirds of the people surveyed
graded seafaring as their first choice of
profession and 70% were very much
satisfied with their choice compared to just
9.2% who were disappointed. Apart from
the poor onboard Internet access, other
important factors for seafarers are good
salary, independence, love for the sea,
travel and local-family tradition in choosing
the maritime profession. However, they
expressed serious concerns over poor
communication with friends and family
members, social isolation, separation from
family, poor living conditions and
insufficient rest hours

Funny, I started going to work on a supplyboat in 1981, all there was was payphone. After working shoreside for years, I plan to go back to sea with the hope of being out of communication. Working shoreside with the constant emails and blabbing on cellphones is the reason. Peace from so many types of communications are appealing
The few and far between cell calls to family will suffice, if service is sketchy, oh well

I love working in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, almost every big oilfield have cellphone coverage :slight_smile:

I agree. During my limited time offshore, I’ve never slept so good and felt so rested!

In Iraq I saw many examples of guys coming in off patrol or whatever and sitting down to talk to the wife/family at home. It didn’t mesh, In a real war zone you have to figure your daily survival is just ‘luck’ and you should not count on seeing tomorrow, thus, it never was possible to ‘bond’ with those at home, and also as a consequence, those next to you to some degree, some ‘closeness’ was lost. I didn’t know I was more or less a basket case till i toured Europe on a 3 week ‘‘vacation’’, compounded by being obviously a soldier, from the ‘zone’ in Europe/Scandanavia, Over there we’d been better off with no access to the outside…, overall.
At sea I am sure it is similar for many folks, just think what it must of been like for those sealers though!!, but nowadays I don’t know how i could maintain a life at sea now without access to the ‘net’!

When I started out in alaska in the 90’s most bigger boats had a sat phone but it was about $10 min. The first big crew improvment came with email which was more or less availble thoughout the 2000’s. About 3 years ago or so internet access has become standard for all crew on the boats and most boats have a low cost crew phone Iriduim or Vsat. It is interesting to see how peoples acceptance and standards evolve on the boat. For the most part at any given stage in the evolution of communications everyone is pretty happy, however there is NO going back at any given point. Once a improvement gets put in place and crew get accustom to it the is unholy hell if it stops working even if they have worked for 20 previous years with out it. As one of the people responsible for maintaining and repairing the comms systems and network on the boat it can be a little frustarating. It used to be “my email isn’t working” with hopefully a quick fix or some user induced headace, now its “I’ve got no bandwith and can’t live chat”

Geez, I hate to sound like an old geezer, but when I started sailing all we had was a radio telegraph operator. Calls to home were few and far between when ashore and we could get to an international operator, AND our party on the other line might be awake/at home. Snail mail worked pretty well, though. I kind of liked the disconnect. It was a bit different by the time I came ashore. I was on tugs, and we had a sideband radio. . . . Tough to get a connection some times when out on the west coast of South America, otherwise pretty good service via marine operators when sailing in the Gulf and the Caribbean, or up the east coast. . . .

[QUOTE=Doodlebug;131996]Funny, I started going to work on a supplyboat in 1981, all there was was payphone. After working shoreside for years, I plan to go back to sea with the hope of being out of communication. Working shoreside with the constant emails and blabbing on cellphones is the reason. Peace from so many types of communications are appealing
The few and far between cell calls to family will suffice, if service is sketchy, oh well[/QUOTE]

I hear you! AMEN!