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Preferred minimum commitment for Deck part

Hi deck department~!

In these days, I'm really interested in working Mercy ships.

As I was searching volunteering work, I read that the preferred minimum commitment of the second and third mates is two years.

Does that mean I have consecutive contracts without vacation for 2 years? or, Is there any periodical crew change?

Because I've just worked in the merchant vessel, So, I was so suprised when I read this length of the commitment. 

And during comparing this commitment with the other volunteering work, I found that it is more longer than the others.

Is there any reason for this one? 

Thank you for your help.

Han ****** Ryu.



  • Hello Han ****** Ryu,

    I am currently serving on board Africa Mercy as Chief Officer.

    The deck officers on board are volunteers as indeed are the vast majority of the ship’s crew.

    There are crewmembers here that have been volunteering continuously with Mercy Ships for twenty years and longer.

    While I would not like to speculate on Mercy Ships policy, my personal opinion is that service lengths of 2-3 years brings stability and continuity, helping the department to run effectively.


    Crew members serving three months or more accrue Personal Time Off (PTO) at a rate dependent on their length of commitment and position. More information about PTO is given in the Volunteer Guidebook.

    While the preferred minimum commitment is 2 years, applications for shorter lengths of time may be accepted depending on the manning requirements at the time.

    I have volunteered for shorter periods to cover officers who are taking PTO.

    Hope this answers your question.

    Best regards, 


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