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The 2001 Mariner Survey was a concentrated effort to get feedback on key readiness issues using a sample of 10,000 merchant mariners from a population of approximately 104,000 qualified to serve on large ocean-going vessels. One hundred and forty-six mariners were deceased or otherwise unreachable, leaving an eligible sample of 9,854. Of the eligible sample, 4,046 completed surveys for an overall response rate of 41%. However, of the 5,808 that did not respond, 1,499 surveys were returned as undeliverable despite crosschecking with all available address sources. Of those who completed a survey, findings show that the majority of mariners:
- were serving in a afloat job during calendar year 2000 (68%),
- have served in a deep-sea position on a U.S. Flag vessel (62%), and
- would be willing to take an afloat position in the event of a National Defense Emergency (66%).
The majority (73%) of those mariners who would be willing to take an afloat position during an emergency reported they would be willing to serve a minimum of 90 days. Those mariners who indicated that they could not serve during an emergency were most likely to select their current employment (37%) or their family situation (26%) as the reason that would prevent them from serving. About half (49%) of all mariners reported that reemployment rights could make them more likely to be able to serve in a national emergency.
At the time of the survey, 45% of Unlimited License Holders and 29% of Other Mariners (see p. 2 for definitions of these terms) reported that they held an International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping 1995 (STCW-95) certificate. Of those who did not hold the STCW-95, 40% of Unlimited License Holders and 30% of Other Mariners reported that they planned to meet the STCW-95 requirements.