Every person wishing to sail as a seafarer must have an MCA Medical certificate, which is provided by a DG Shipping-approved medical practitioner. Candidates must qualify for the eligibility test standards set up by the government of India. This blog will discuss the height and weight eligibility criteria required in the Merchant Navy.
Is there any specific height requirement for the Merchant Navy?
Nope. The medical standards set down in Merchant Navy by the STCW do not specify height requirements. In my career I have sailed with some pretty short guys & we had to give them a platform to stand at the steering console so they could see the steering compass & also look over the bridge windows but they were short & smart. Hope you’re the same 🙂
Do not be fooled by Fake Merchant Navy Websites stating a minimum of xyz cms and weight of xyz kilos is needed to be enrolled in a maritime college.
Below is the minimum Expected Height & Weight Criteria – Navy Minimum height
Any kind of weak constitution by way of imperfect muscles or malnutrition is a sign of rejection in the medicals of the merchant navy. The minimum height requirement in males is 157cm, while in females, the minimum height criterion is 145cm. However, if you belong to hilly areas or the northeastern region of India, you are provided relaxation up to 5cm. These are the standards set by the government of India, but they may differ from colleges to shipping companies. For example, IMS Goa’s minimum height requirement is 158cm.
If you are an aspiring seafarer, taking care of your health should be your priority so that you do not face rejection during the medicals. Doctors, while performing the medical examination for weight, use BMI. This screening tool can indicate whether a person is underweight or has a healthy weight, excess weight, or obesity. If a person’s BMI exceeds the healthy range, their health risks may increase significantly, making them unfit for the duties onboard. The BMI Index is calculated as –
BMI = Weight in kgs/ square of height in meters
According to WHO, a person’s BMI should not exceed 30. If the BMI score is less than 18, the person is underweight. If it is between 25-30, the person is overweight.
In the merchant navy, obesity is a direct rejection. If you are overweight, i.e., your BMI score falls between 25-30, then you are provided time by the shipping companies to work on it and achieve the ideal score between 18-25.
Suppose a candidate has more bone density due to which he looks a little buff. He has a BMI score above 30 but is physically fit. In this case, doctors performing the medicals will judge his fitness level by calculating his muscle mass with the help of Treadmill Tests.
The treadmill Test is an ECG in a dynamic state. A treadmill stress test is used to determine the effects of exercise on the heart. Exercise allows doctors to detect abnormal heart rhythms and diagnose the presence or absence of coronary artery disease. This test has 3-4 stages where the candidate is supposed to walk on the treadmill. Many wires are stuck on his/her chest like an ECG, which monitors the heart rate. Slowly the speed and incline of the treadmill increase and become more elevated.
The target score that every candidate has to achieve is 220. As the difficulty level rises, the student’s breathing becomes heavier. These ECG Ratings are measured through the graph displayed on the screen. If the stress test comes positive, the candidate’s heart rate is abnormal, and under stress while performing cardio activities. If the test results are negative, the candidate’s heart rate is normal, and no stress is detected while performing the cardio workout.
Staying physically and mentally healthy can help seafarers a lot onboard. It will improve their concentration, self-confidence, and sleep schedules. This is why the merchant navy emphasizes on the criteria of being physically sound for aspiring seafarers. This blog has put forward everything about the height and weight criterion in the Merchant Navy.