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How can I work on a ship in Europe?
April 24, 2011 6:04 PM   Subscribe

My brother will soon graduate from a US Maritime Academy with a 3rd Mates Unlimited, and a couple years later, have a 2nd Mates Unlimited License (to steer ships). How hard would it be to transfer/use this license in Europe? Specifically, he is interested in working in the North Sea for Norwegian companies because of the better pay, working conditions, time off
posted by pynchonesque to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Mr. Lawhound is a USMMA grad. He does not recommend trying to do this, for multiple reasons, first of which being they will not recognize his license and he will have to start out there as an ordinary seaman. He does not recommend trying to work on a foreign flag vessel at all. He recommends looking into work in the Gulf of Mexico for an American company, which do have reasonable schedules and pay.
posted by lawhound at 6:45 PM on April 24, 2011


Thanks for the reply Mr. Lawhound.

Sure, American companies do have reasonable pay and schedules but I've heard that those working on Norwegian supply vessels do two weeks on, three weeks off and also get paid vacations on top of that. The kicker is that they get paid in Norwegian currency, which, being significantly more valuable than the American dollar, might make it worthwhile to jump through a lot of hoops. Of course, not if he has to start as an ordinary, but I feel like there must be some sort of international recognition of licenses.
posted by pynchonesque at 9:56 PM on April 24, 2011


Apparently, there is UK reciprocity but I am looking specifically for Norwegian.
http://gcaptain.com/forum/professional-mariner-forum/521-mariners-school-approvals.html
posted by pynchonesque at 10:06 PM on April 24, 2011


Everybody and their cousin wants to work in the North Sea for exactly the reasons given above. It's highly unlikely that anyone's going to pay intercontinental travel to someone who doesn't even have their DP ticket yet. Even once he's got it, most companies are still going to prefer giving the job to someone ordinarily resident a leetle bit closer to the port they'll be working out of.

He does not recommend trying to do this, for multiple reasons, first of which being they will not recognize his license and he will have to start out there as an ordinary seaman.

...you what? Umm. ... [five minutes research]... OK, I can't find out anything about Norwegian CECs (e.g. whether or not they exist, and if so who can get them). It's possible that you are correct. Anyone that really wants to know can try asking the Kystverket. Turns out that the UK doesn't fully recognise US GMDSS tickets, hah, a US GOC can only be used as a UK ROC. Get your UK CEC here! (once he's actually got his US CoC, that is....) As regards going foreign flag in general, it seems to be pretty good for the short-term gain but has higher risks when thing go wrong. If you're good about sorting out your own pension plan and that kind of thing, and can get someone who understands how to keep your tax situation within the law (no, I work on ships. no, I'm not in the [military] navy. ships! all over the world! the office may be in the Isle of Man/Singapore/Panama but I've never been there!), then go for it. If you run into problems ... then there will be problems.

Really he should just get into the offshore sector wherever he can (Singapore? Brazil? West Africa? Maybe not?) and then see about trying to get a good job. Here you go.

OH WAIT - How hard would it be to transfer/use this license in Europe? You know that for the purposes of paperwork, Norway is not part of Europe, right?
posted by Lebannen at 3:15 AM on April 25, 2011


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