there is a couple of things I don't quite understand the phrase "merchant marine" keeps coming up as if it is a job title. It's not. The job "title" would be (and is) Merchant Mariner - but this is way archaic. Most usage places it as either - "sailor" or "went to sea." The phrase as it was used by Andrew's still-in-sister does not make any sense at all. If Andrew went back to Australia and went to work on ships then he will be easy to find - not difficult. There are not that many Australian owned and flagged merchant Marine vessels and ALL the sailors belong to the Union. *added note* - there are a total of 26 Australian flagged and owned vessels - less than Cyprus. There are a couple of other points - does Andrew have his Seaman's papers? Believe it or not sailors are not hard to find if they are on nationally flagged vessels.