Unknown Facts of Merchant Navy

Ahoy there! Set sail with us as we unfold the unknown facts about the Merchant Navy. Beyond the colossal cargo ships and vast oceans, there’s a world of maritime hidden behind these giants. Get ready for a voyage of fascinating facts, traditions, and incidents that make the Merchant Navy a true sea of surprises!

Jail in Merchant Navy

Jail in merchant navy


  • Seafarers were detained for spillage of oil in the Ocean in the wrong area. Held for 13 months in a South Korean jail. As per MARPOL Annex I, oil spillage is prohibited thus resulting detaining of the Captain and Chief officer of the ship.
  • Indian seafarer captain Sunil James was arrested in Togo as pirates looted the ship under his surveillance and charges framed that he helped pirates in the loot.

Seafarers Abandoned on Ship: –

seafarer abandoned on merchant navy ship

There are many unknown facts about sailors and their life onboard. For instance, sometimes, seafarers get stuck on their ships with no way out! It’s a tough situation where they don’t get paid or have enough supplies. Imagine being stuck at work like that! It’s a real problem that not many folks know about in the seafaring world.


  • Seafarer Mohammed Aisha returned home after 4 years on a ship, to his home town Syria, Suez Canal after his company abandoned him and left him with no food and water.
  • Another incident occurred in ULA, docked in KUWAIT 2020,19 crew without anything onboard, the company cut contact with the crew and were stuck at sea for two years.

Mental Harassment on Ship

mental harassment on merchant ship

This is a very concerning issue onboard ships where people get harassed based on their performance on board. Senior officers demand hard work and eagerness to learn on the ship as there is so much to learn on board. When a person is lethargic, others scold him frequently, causing him to isolate himself, feel lonely, demotivated, and disconnected from other crew members, leading to stressful days and the emergence of suicidal thoughts. The factors that are responsible for this are Lack of knowledge and lack of leadership. It ultimately leads to stress on the ship.

Long Working Hours

long working in ships

As per the MLC, rest hours must be 77 hours a week but that is just theoretical and remains in the books of MLC. Just keep in mind that 13 hours of work a day is normal stuff, it can further proceed until you are used to it or made use of it. In case of emergency, there are no rest hours you need to rectify and solve the problem until you resolve it. Sometimes if good officers are there they adjust according to the seriousness of the job and do 6 on / 6 off, etc. Anyway, a famous quote in which every experienced officer says you didn’t come on the ship to sleep.

No Family / Social Life

no social life

Every seafarer who comes on board has a motive to earn money, People are away from their families, and social life, and sometimes people spend 10-15 months on board. Most companies don’t bother about MLC guidelines solely for the sake of money. Being away from family can make a person feel empty inside and lose interest in their job.

It is always beneficial to choose companies that offer a good internet facility and have short sign-on and sign-off contracts to stay connected with your family.

Sea Time on Ship

sea time

Sea Time is a very important factor for a seafarer who is onboard. Specifically for those who want promotion to their respective ranks. The beginning journey of cadet life until becoming Master of the ship. A never-ending hunger for completing sea time keeps pushing them mentally, physically, and financially.

Sea time is a very serious issue. Candidates want to complete their time as soon as possible which restricts them from enjoying social life.

Rough Weather

rough weather in merchant navy

The newly designed ship build is capable of surviving rough weather. However, there are chances of sinking or capsizing of ship. Sometimes working in rough weather could result in man-overboard and even falling on slippery deck resulting in body injury. Sometimes incidents take place where seaman loses their finger while closing weather tight door in rough weather.

Heavy Machinery / Mooring

mooring operation unknown facts

The ship’s machinery is very heavy and tough, even the slightest hit could result in a severe blow. Working in mooring operations is no joke, dealing in mooring operations is very risky. If the leg gets in the mooring rope eye, it will fracture and crush or take away that leg.

While berthing a ship or casting off a tug there are several incidents happening. Many people suffered from injuries and even lost their limbs due to the swift motion of broken mooring ropes. The chances of survival are very less such incidents occur in milliseconds and there is no time to react.

Health Issues on Ship

unknown facts of health issues with seafarer

The health issue is one of the many unknown facts in the Merchant Navy most people do not know about.

As said wisest of the people “Health is wealth”.

The health issue is common in seafarers due to continuous exposure to chemicals and gases. Tankers are very risky; cargo fumes and gases may leak on board during loading and discharging operations. Most seamen who sail on tankers lose hair in the early stage of their life. The health issue is not only in Oil Tanker but on other ships as well.


To wrap things up, the Merchant Navy is full of cool and unknown facts that often fly under the radar. It’s not just about big ships and deep oceans– there’s a whole world of interesting stuff happening in these towering giants. So, the next time you spot a massive cargo ship out at sea, remember the dedication and hard work these sailors are doing in making global trade possible.

Congratulations, now you know more about the Merchant Navy than you did yesterday. After all these incidents and problems, if you have a strong passion for the sea, we have something that can assist you in pursuing a successful career in the Merchant Navy:

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

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[…] that’s that, but have you ever wondered what kind of deep secrets are hiding behind the towering giants of the Merchant […]

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