Coast Guards vs Merchant Marines


CG vs Mariner

In this article we will discuss the differences between coast guards and merchant mariners. Many people feel that they both are the same which is definitely not true.

What Does A Merchant Mariner Do?

The merchant mariners are people who work on commercial ships or merchant navy ships. They work on commercial vessels. They are involved in carrying cargo and passengers to the destination that they have been assigned.

Role of Coast Guards

The coast guards on the other hand protect the sea. They ensure that illegal and unwanted immigrants don’t enter the country. There are many countries that have a huge coast line. These are the nations where the coast guards play a vital role. This is a brief idea of the two closely related marine jobs.

Both the Coast Guards and Merchant Marines work at the high seas. They both serve their country in some way or the other. If you know the differences between the two, it will also help you to decide on which is the one that you would like to pursue as a career.

The first point about the coast guards is that it is controlled by the particular country. They follow the rules and regulations that have been made by the government of the country. They are regulated by the government as the main role of the coast guards is to protect the coastal borders of the nation.
The responsibility of the coast guards also changes from country to country. We will discuss the same in more details.

For example some countries authorize them with certain powers and some countries may restrict their scope of operation. In some countries the coast guards basically ensure that there is no infiltration from the sea. In some countries they may be given military authorities too. However, some basic functions of the coast guard include

  • rescue of the ships
  • conducting search operations
  • safety of the vessels
  •  ensuring that the maritime law is enforced
  • the coast guards also maintain the sea marks
  • last but not the least they protect the borders of the country

The above mentioned are the responsibilities during time of peace. However, at time of war the roles may change. In the time of war the coast guard might have to take up the responsibility of defense  they involve in port security and coastal patrols.

In the time of war they might even involve in combats if the enemy is expected to attack from the coasts. If you thought that coast guards operated in ships alone then let us tell you that they also use helicopters and small planes to check the coasts. In most countries the coast guards are authorized to inspect the commercial ships.

You must be wondering how you can become a coast guard. Well the way is simple. Different countries have different eligibility for the coast guards. You can search online for the country you belong to. You will get all the information that you are looking for. There are specialized coast guard schools in your country that you can join in order to become a certified coast guard. Using this information you can become a successful coast guard. We wish you all the best with your career.

Moving on to, merchant marines we will first start with the job that they do. They basically operate at the high sea. They work on different assignments in ships. They are also under a common international law and the overall body governing them is the IMO or the International Maritime Organization.

They are free to operate from any part of the world. The merchant mariners basically operate on commercial ships. They ensure that the goods are carried in ships to different parts of the world. These assignments lasts for months as a result the mariners stay away from the families for months at a stretch.

To become a merchant marine you can join a marine college. Every nation has a list of reputed marine colleges that you can join. There are many colleges that you can select from and join. Some colleges have joint entrance exams that you need to clear. Some of the mariners can also join after completing the high school. There are many exams that the mariner can take from time to time. Taking the test will ensure that the mariners progress in their careers.

Both the job of the coast guards and the merchant mariners are equally challenging and full of risks. The salary that is earned by the coast guards could be a little less as compared to merchant mariners, generally speaking though it could vary from country to country.

Despite this, both these careers give financial stability to the professionals. The career in both the case of coast guards and merchant mariners has equal chances of growth for the individuals. If you work well you can expect a good growth. The demand for coast guards and merchant mariners are as always on the rise. It is only expected to grow higher with time.

The merchant mariners can work for many countries in their career. They can also visit a number of countries during their tenure which is not a possibility with the coast guards.

Some girls have doubts if they can join coast guards and merchant marines. Well the answer is yes. Nowadays many girls are also joining merchant marines and coast guards. Any girl is welcome to take up these careers.

I hope by reading this article you have got a clear idea on the differences between the coast guards and merchant marines. This will definitely help you to select the career that suits you the best. All the best and we hope that you make a good decision.

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