U.S. Facing Looming Shortage of Merchant Mariners

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by bruno, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Interesting article. While I am syure there are is a coming shortfall of skilled mariners to support a military surge, but the MARAD adminsitrator doesn't seem to offer too many idweas on ways to keep mariners employed in the interim because there just isn't that big a demand for US mariners in normal trade. And this article kind of conflates a couple of different issues- for example most of those 70,000 are definitely not going to be officers- yet they make it sound like the State and US academies are "only" graduating 900 leaving us 69,100 short of the requirement.
    Nonetheless- it's an interesting article. And they are right - the TS Empire State is old and it needs to be replaced. (Although the good thing about having a Steam Turbine ship is that the power companies stand in line to hire NY Maritime Engineering graduates!)

    http://news.usni.org/2016/03/22/u-s-facing-looming-shortage-of-merchant-mariners
     
  2. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Son is Ensign USNR and Officer in Sealift Command. Has never found a problem getting an officer position on a US Flagged Vessel with the merchant marine. Those numbers have to include deck and are way overinflated.
     
  3. AlexT

    AlexT Banned

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    It certainly is a misleading article. I'm guessing the vast majority of the mariners that will be "needed" are for the shallow draft brown water inland barge and towboat fleets, with the vast majority of those positions being relatively low skilled deckhands and tankermen. There are over 5,000 linehaul towboats in the fleet, each with two "officers", the captain and his relief pilot. These positions generally are filled with deckhands and tankermen who are accepted into company sponsored steersman programs on their boats. If i'm not mistaken, it generally takes about two years of steersman training to get a western rivers license. I don't know of a single maritime academy graduate working as a captain or pilot on an inland river towboat. The blue water and brown water fleets are two different worlds, but the vast majority of the employment in the maritime sector is in the brown water sector.
     

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