Assaulting the Master


crikey, if I had a problem with someone offshore, they would just disappear


Concerning putting a crewmember on 1,000 calories a day until they went back to work. There’s no position on the vessel that is so critical that it would justify going to that extreme to get a guy back to work except for the position of cook. But who would want to eat a meal from a cook who was forced to cook it & who would provide the 1,000 calorie meal plan if the cook stopped cooking in the first place?

About a crewmember hitting the captain. Except for a few morbidly obesed masters who could hardly leave the bridge to get into a fight, most captains I worked with could probably dish it out better than many of the crew. Sure, a punch throwing crewmember needs to go to jail for assault but hopefully not before getting their ass kicked. My money would be on the masters.


People that join a ship come to work and get paid, not join some at-sea fight club.

Crew that wants to work on a ship deserve to be able to do that. If crewmembers feel that they have to move outside the system to solve crew problems on their own than the ship has serious problems.


when the captain wants to sell fuel and the crew dont but the office is involved so the crew have nowhere to go…


While I understand where you’re coming from I’ve worked with too many captains that would feel that that’s overstepping the role of mate.


I don’t need a letter of warning written, got some ready to go, just need to change name, date and specific misdeeds.

What I need are good witness statements, that’s what seals the deal. I don’t mind a little spin my way.


I should probably clarify that I’m not saying they should serve the letter without my knowledge or presence. I have seen more than a few young officers that struggle through working with a bad watch partner or insubordinate dayworker. Ones that don’t take any shit and know how to use the proper disciplinary procedures are worth grooming up to senior officers in my opinion. Sort of a dress for the job you want, not the one you have kind of situation. Maybe that’s my unique take on it but it is how I see it.


Does an AB taking a lifeboat hatchet to the Third Mate’s head count? Asking for a friend…


Had an instructor that earned the nickname “Pistol Pete” for having to shoot an AB in a similar situation.

Seems that would solve the problem better than a write up, but that’s just my opinion.


Didn’t something similar happen on a San Francisco pilot boat a few years ago?


I’m not sure if any of it really counts. There is a well known example from an ATB a few years back where the captain got his finger up in the face of an AB, the AB punched him in the face and knocked him out, and the captain got fired. I know this is the exception to the rule, but that’s the way it (he) went down.


In a sense the captain maintaining order on a ship is analogous to the police department ashore.

If the goal is to go home at the end of the trip without being hassled by the FBI or whatever the captain and others involved should conduct themselves in an incident in a way that with stand up to scrutiny. Or at minimum at least everyone have the story straight.

My experience at least.


Good order onboard and avoidance of fighting and assault is an important topic worthy of more than occasional lip service.

There should be mandaory training that is repeated at regular intervals for officers and crew. Most of it could be computer based and done onboard. It should include case studies and exams.

It should also be incorporated into leadership and management classes.

Training for crew should include guest speakers who have lost their MMCs and have done jail time for asssult onboard. If we run low on guest speakers, that’s an indication that more aggressive enforcement is needed.


That is just what we need. Another mandatory course approved by the Coast Guard. Maybe we could petition for another STCW endorsement based on completion with a 5-year mandatory refresher course.:roll_eyes:


‘If we run low on guest speakers, that’s an indication that more aggressive enforcement is needed.’

Or possibly that the training is working?


The CG should require that the leadership and management classes be taught by people with expertise in that subject instead of having an ex ship captain waste a week of everyone’s time.


I was not suggesting another course. I was suggesting that this important topic be inserted into the existing courses.


Quickest way to restore order on a ship is sound the general alarm and have the crew muster. The entire crew is then organized into teams with an officer with a radio in charge of each team.


Could come from years of trying to do the right thing and having absolutely no back up. A captain is better off trying to piss the child off to the point he/she takes a swing - then things get pretty black and white with the HR types. Other wise, you are stuck writing “Performance Plans” and monitoring progress for a year no mater what they do before you can get them off your vessel.


With regards to rotary crew (hired from union hall) the captain of a deep-sea ship is HR. In straight forward situations, for the most part, the company’s only concern is travel costs.

The contract spells out the steps for DFC (discharge for cause). As long as the steps are followed and documented properly there will almost never be any blow-back from the union.