The Risks of Being a Filipino Seafarer

The Philippines is known to comprise a huge percentage of seafarers working for different shipping companies around the world. Because of their inherent sea intuition, extensive offshore trainings and strong academic background, they have made a name for themselves and grew a niche in the industry.

Many young Filipinos aspire to be a seafarer because of the lucrative compensation, the chance to travel the world for free (well, almost) and the sense of adventure that it holds. But, despite these advantages, it also has its risks, especially in the case of Filipino seafarers. This article enumerates the different risks that Filipino seafarers are facing or are going to face.

Health Risks
In the Philippines, seafarers are known to have extra-marital affairs whenever they are on duty in another part of the world—the wives are always left hanging every time their husband leaves.

But more than that, there is a bigger risk for them because there is no stringent health care policy whenever they come back from work. At sea, they are at risk of contacting various health complications, especially sexually transmitted disease.

Danger at Sea
Of course, this is inevitable for any seafarer. The sea is a dangerous and wide world and anything can happen—from the course of Mother Nature to man-made conflicts. Typhoons and strong winds are natural and sometimes, boats are forced to hide in different locations just to be safe.

As for man-made conflicts, seafarers these days are also at risk of facing pirates! And according to veteran seafarers, often, they are forced to live in cramped conditions with coarse individuals (of course, of different nationalities) which they have deal with the entire time that they are on the trip.

Despite the dangers at sea, they have the proper education and remarkable offshore training that makes them equipped to face everyday life at sea.

Family Ties Are Broken
Because they are away for most of the time, there is a possibility that family ties break down because of no constant communication and distance. There are many stories of Filipino families suffering because their fathers are not home and their mothers are forced to tend to the children solo (and sometimes, unexpectedly, they find a lover). With the tremendous pressure to provide for their families (in the case of the father) and to keep the family all together (in the mother’s case), there are instances where they don’t meet in the middle anymore.

These are just three of the risks that Filipino seafarers have to face every day at sea; but in a more specific setting, everyone has their respective conflicts to solve every day; as is Physics, everything is relevant.