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So You Want To Be a Captain – Medical Disqualifiers

Source: Mariners Learning System, By Captain Bob Figular

For a vessel to be operated safely, it is essential that the crewmembers be physically fit and free of debilitating illness and injury.

The seafaring life can be grueling, often hazardous, and the availability of medical assistance or treatment is generally minimal.

The following guidelines are just that—guidelines. They are not intended to be absolute or all encompassing.

Some individuals may have other medical conditions or physical limitations that would render them incompetent to perform their duties aboard a vessel.

Others may be quite capable of working at sea without posing a risk to themselves, their ship, or shipmates even though one of the listed conditions exists.

As the industry continues its trend toward smaller crews, the ability of each crewmember to perform his or her routine duties and respond to emergencies becomes even more critical.

Here are the top 5 medical conditions that can delay your Captain’s License application or cause the application to be denied:

  • Cardiac Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Psychiatric Disorders
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Chronic Use of Narcotics

It is extremely important that you provide medical documentation from your doctor if you have one or more of these medical conditions.

Any cause for rejection is disqualifying only while the condition persists or is likely to cause disqualifying complications.

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