I do smile a lot… helped in no small way by some silly statements from those who should know better!

As New York was submerged in snow and in past weeks, severe flooding in many parts of Aberdeenshire, and ongoing threat of structural damage, I do wonder what we really expect?

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And what of the poor seaman? Job losses abound, yes onshore, but also afloat! Over 2,500 up to November last year… That is a lot of seafarers who have been ‘let go’ and sadly, it has gotten worse into the New Year.

I noticed earlier on today in a social media post that showed one agency offering a job on a ‘day-rate’ for a Mate’s job, minimum 3 years anchor handling experience, Master’s ticket to 3000 minimum. Day rate $140/£98.70!

How times have changed! The person who posted it stated: “I was on double that as agency 2/o around 15 years ago.”

It is a sad reflection on our industry.

What really puzzles me is the fact that a few years ago the Government were stating, in defence of “fat-cat wages for bankers,” that they need to be paid high wages to get the right calibre of manager.

Captains on a vessel are also ‘managers’ and need to be paid high wages to get the right calibre of Captain. Oh wait, I forgot, you can get a non-UK Captain for half price – well that is okay then!

When (and it will be when) the oil price rises in a few years, where will our much respected and admired Merchant Seamen be? Their tickets expired and a scramble for crews will ensue… Where will health and safety be then?

I have had to counsel 7 times as many seafarers in the second half of 2015 than the first half. That was 2024 in total over the year!

Wake up government… lest you forget that we live on an island and depend on sea trade to exist!  I could say so much more… but I better stop here.

Another post with more positive thoughts later this week…




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