What's The Worst Job In The Maritime Industry?

I think a closed deck livestock carrier during a pandemic might be the last job I would ever take. What do you think is the shingle worst job in the maritime world?

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Well, the worst job I ever had was on the BELCHER PORT EVERGLADES as an assistant engineer. I do think that a livestock carrier would even be worse, but maybe not as dangerous. . . .

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Working the T.S. Empire State has to rank pretty high up there…

Friend of mine said his paycheck came out to be something like $244 per week when he figured out NYS tax and union deductions.

That’s barely more than what supermarket part timers bagging groceries get paid.


Isn’t that the Belcher rig that sunk in the Gulf? I was in that same storm, it was a nasty one.

I thought most people took those jobs to get time on their Chief Mates license to upgrade to Master when they couldn’t readily find Chief Mate work.

Incidentally, that would be my answer for worst job. They are correct if you ask me. Master is your reward to putting up with being a Chief Mate for so long :joy:


Financially the TS’s have to be the worst paying jobs. However a couple friends I have who did training cruises said that frankly that’s about the amount of money they SHOULD have made for the amount of work they put in. That’s as temporary watch standers. I’m sure it’s different as a permanent.

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Not to get off track but I am curious as to what livestock the Kuwaiti ship was transporting to Australia. Sheep or something else? I would think Australia was sheep self sufficient. New Zealand is close and they have a lot, but the Kiwi folks may be hoarding or too attached to their sheep.

I figured it would be going the opposite direction?

Maybe Kuwait was sending some camels to the outback and returning with a ship full of sheep and/or cattle. Ship can’t be full going both ways, can it?

I believe the permanent 3M on there was posted not long ago for $45,000 or $50,000 per year with some kind of stipulation that they were also required to help the Dean of Admissions plan and execute tours of the ship and even be present at career fairs.

A mockery, either way.


Agreed. Chief Mate is the absolute worst job on the ship, IMHO. I have more fun as 2nd, especially on paperless ships. The thumb drive is my Sword of A Thousand Truths and I only use it once a week.


Personnel Manager at Bouchard


Nah, that was the TAMPA, a sister vessel. Who ever thought that putting a slow speed diesel into a deep notch tug (NOT an ATB) should be made to suffer a long and painful death. . . . .

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She was an interesting,poorly designed vessel. I think her barge was around 400k bbls. She went down north of us quite a ways. Very strong NW winds and a huge confused swell. I was towing a light barge, was not too far north of Tortugas when we got slammed. February 81 or 82 ! believe… I had an engineer who worked on one or the other. I don’t recall him having fond memories either.

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Many of the bunch that I worked with on the PORT EVERGLADES were onboard the TAMPA when she went down. Yeah, the barges were huge. The concept would have worked better as an ATB, but not sure that the “pin” arrangement was available or widely accepted at the time. Not sure that a Bludworth system would have been appropriate either. What did cause the loss of the TAMPA, so far as I know was due to the design. To keep the tug tight in the notch, glycol filled bladders (4 I believe) were fitted, two in each side and were pressurized once the tug and barge were in voyage trim. The tug was pushed into the notch using two poly facing straps, connected to hydraulic cylinders also tensioned when the vessels were at voyage trim. I was told that the TAMPA became compromised when one or more of the bladders were ruptured and the tug became free in the notch, slamming the vessels together. To maintain the low net tonnage, there were large voice spaces on either side of the engine space. One of these became holed in the slamming, and took on water. Then the crew abandoned the TAMPA to the barge. The tug slipped from the notch, capsized and sank. I was told that the PORT EVERGLADES was modified after the incident, equalizing the two void spaces. I do know that a new policy was ,made that if even one of the bladders was compromised, the barge had to be towed on the string. We did make a trip from Pascagoula to Tampa on the string in very heavy weather and it was quite the ride. Shortening up coming in to Tampa resulted in a “comedy” of errors as the towing winch and other equipment were not maintained. . . but I digress, as usual. . . .


I think Maritrans bought one of the barges and used it for lightering in Delaware Bay. They may have bought the tug, not sure. Sounds like one would need a full shelf of aspirin to run that rig…I am sure those rigs did not contribute to Belchers bottom line.

Ours know how to use lipstick :lipstick:


LOL… First chuckle of the day.

Are you kidding me? Best job in the world. Nobody goes for the money. You go with a couple people you know, and get 4 days in some foreign port with almost no responsibility!

Well…it was foreign.

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As Archie and Edith Bunker once sang:

“Thoooooooose weeeeeeerrrrrre theeeeeee dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyys!!!”

Lol true.

Plus Rick was a hoot to work with. Although Morgan’s a great guy too.

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