J.E.P. Burton

Creed of the Modern Mariner

I am a Modern Mariner.
I respect others regardless of gender, race, rank, or religion.
I am a guardian of my safety, the safety of others, and the safety of the vessel.
I am forever improving my skills and understanding.
I am a teacher of what I have learned, but ever open to new methods and ideas.
I am kind, generous, and caring in my dealings onboard and ashore.
I document and fix problems and potential problems so that other mariners can be aware and also take action.
I will not lie about problems or deficiencies.
I will not let others take risks with their safety or the safety of others.
I will not belittle my colleagues nor condone others in doing so.
I am a Modern Mariner.
I travel, live, work, on the water transporting what is necessary for life in the modern world.
We are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends – we are people making our way in the world and deserve to be treated as such by ourselves and others, just as they do. With respect.
-J.E.P. Burton
(free use with link or attribution)
I have been working a lot with the Coeval team to create online courses for The Modern Mariner.
While I have been working on that, and thinking about what being a modern mariner really is, and how many improvements could be made to the maritime industry – not by top down management but from the mariners themselves. I thought that we as brothers and sisters of the sea needed a creed to fit in our modern industry. I have seen many mariners in my time who behaved in the antithesis of this creed and then thought of how much better and safer the industry would be if it held to moral and ethical principals of community that promoted the safety and caring of others.
That being said I don’t believe that the current safety campaign systems are very effective at instigating change in the culture onboard ships. Putting up a poster and having a meeting is not Living the Culture, nor does it truly change it.
For safety culture to change, we the Modern Mariners must change it. We must communicate clearly with one another and work together not only onboard our own vessel, but within our companies fleet, and with all the companies staff. Only through communication and empathy will we truly improve vessel safety.
If Mariners throughout the world took this to heart, it would not take generations of mariners.
It would take only us.
Let’s make this a record year, where our shipmates all come home safe, the cargo gets delivered, and we make improvements to ourselves and our industry.
Fair winds and following seas!

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