Medical Requirements for a Superyacht Career

If you intend to seek professional qualifications to work in the maritime industry you will need either an MCA approved medical examination called ENG1, or a maritime medical from an Australian medical practitioner. You can obtain further information on the requirements for professional medical standards from the Superyacht Crew Academy.

A physical/optical examination by a qualified physician and optometrist, using the following guidelines, will satisfy the medical requirements for an IYT Yacht 200ton Certificate.

Some conditions, such as colour blindness, will restrict your ability to obtain a command certificate of competence and a commercial qualification.

The doctor should follow these guidelines to describe your normal fitness standards in relationship to your ability to perform relevant duties on a vessel without creating an unacceptable risk to yourself or members of the crew or the safe operation of the vessel.

Part 1. Medical Fitness Standards

  1. Hernia - you should not have an uncorrected hernia.
  2. Speech - you should be able to speak clearly without hesitation.
  3. Hearing - you should have good hearing, able to understand a whispered voice. Hearing loss should not exceed 20 decibels for the 500Hz, 1000 Hz and 2000 Hz ranges. Hearing aids may be accepted if you meet the standards providing the hearing aid is suitable for watch keeping duties at sea (where it may get wet with salt water).
  4. Artificial Limbs - if you have an artificial limb or are missing limbs your suitability for watch keeping duties at sea must be determined on an individual basis.
  5. Epilepsy - if you are an epileptic, you will be unfit for certification unless you have been free from attack with the use of drugs for at least 2 years.
  6. Cardiac Pacemaker - if you require a cardiac pacemaker your doctor must determine it's reliability and the nature of your disease in relation to shipboard activities. If your doctor decides that sea duty in hazardous weather conditions is an unacceptable risk you will be ineligible for certification.

Part 2. Eyesight Fitness Standards

Your optometrist or doctor must determine if you can see well enough to perform a navigational watch at night and be able to see the lights and signals of other vessels as well as hazards to navigation at a safe distance. In particular,

  1. If you have only one eye or poor vision in one or both eyes you must have a report from a qualified ophthalmologist.
  2. You should have a minimum of 20/40 vision in each eye with or without glasses.
  3. You should be able to pass a color vision test such as the ISHIHARA test to be sure you can determine the colour of navigational lights at sea.

The Medical Examination

1. Book an hour appointment with the clerical staff for a medical and nurse assessment. Payment is required at the time for the medical and chest X-ray which is a screen for tuberculosis to go to sea.

2. The medical involves a screen for any condition that would interfere with ability to operate or crew a vessel. Vision and colour vision is tested and you will need to bring glasses or contact lenses if required.

3. Hearing is tested and if you need a hearing aid bring it with you.

4. Urine is tested for diabetes and kidney disease.

5. Heart and blood pressure is checked and a cardiograph is performed if required.

6. A check is also done for injuries and balance disorders which might affect mobility on a boat.

7. A screen is done for alcohol and drug disorders which might interfere with memory or concentration.

8. There is no urine drug and alcohol test.