Fat seamen sail against the wind / News / The Foreigner

Fat seamen sail against the wind. Health complaints pipe sailors ashore. Land ahoy! Mackerel and other fatty fish are good for the arteries, but being fat isn’t good for sailors. Over 500 lost their rights to their sea legs last year because of obesity.Ultimatum “Sailors’ health has deteriorated,” Alf Magne Horneland, head of the Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine tells Aftenposten.

sailors, ships, jobs, health, fat, norwegian, norway, surgery, maritime, directorate, doctor



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Fat seamen sail against the wind

Published on Wednesday, 24th February, 2010 at 17:03 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Health complaints pipe sailors ashore.

Mackerel
Mackerel
Photo: Ed Bierman/Wikimedia Commons


Land ahoy! Mackerel and other fatty fish are good for the arteries, but being fat isn’t good for sailors. Over 500 lost their rights to their sea legs last year because of obesity.

Ultimatum

“Sailors’ health has deteriorated,” Alf Magne Horneland, head of the Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine tells Aftenposten.

511 seamen lost permission to sail on Norwegian-registered ships last year; an increase of 20 percent in two years. A regulation introduced in 2001 stipulates a maximum Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35.

Torbjørn Husby, Assistant Director of the Maritime Directorate’s labour and lifestyle department, says overweight is one of the three main reasons for being denied a ship’s job.

Six years ago Per-Jarle Voksø, the “Seven Sisters” offshore ship’s captain, weighed in at 168 kilos and had a BMI of 50. Now he’s glad his doctor gave him an ultimatum to undergo slimming surgery, or lose his job.

Bullied

But Voksø says the BMI limit has made life difficult, and thinks the “magic” figure is a waste of time.

“Both I and many others in the same situation have felt hunted; almost harassed. They think being large means we’re lazy. People thinner than me have had to give up before I do when we run up stairs, which makes the limit of 35 ridiculous,” he says.

Alf Horneland agrees, arguing that each case should be looked at individually in relation to what type of job and function people have on board.

Shop around

The 2001 regulation has also meant sailors have started trying to beat the system when it comes to health certificates.

“I’ve noticed a trend where sailors try to find a doctor who’ll give them a clean bill of health, even though they don’t fulfill the requirements,” says Emmie Knudtzon Snincak, head of the doctor’s office for sailors in Bergen.

There’s also no central register allowing doctors to check if a patient has been to someone else before them. The Maritime Directorate now says they’re looking into the matter.

Other reasons for losing ship-based jobs are bad hearing, failing sight, various lifestyle-related diseases, and mental disorders.



Published on Wednesday, 24th February, 2010 at 17:03 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: sailors, ships, jobs, health, fat, norwegian, norway, surgery, maritime, directorate, doctor.





  
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