Bouchard? Still in business?

It wasn’t MSC chartered and even when it was on long term contract there was no requirement for a union.

I don’t believe the US is a signatory to MLC.

1 Like

They are not. So the big question why? In cases like this, people would get paid.

Adopting MLC would not get Americans paid. The laws we have now do a so so job of getting guys paid. MLC would be just another law to be broken by companies that run out of money. It would not improve anything.

MLC mandates allowing foreign seamen into the US and granting them shore leave; that could never be accepted.

They should be allowed shore leave.

1 Like

‘Seamen” without US visas from poor countries that would be apt to jump ship to illegally immigrate to the US?

Unscreened and unvetted “Seamen” from countries that promote terrorism?

1 Like

I see shore leave as more of a humanitarian right. Though I don’t disagree about your concerns.


It is a human right. Let’s start by making sure that US seamen are guaranteed their human right to shore leave in the US. Once we get that done, we can start working on the human rights of foreign seamen.


Correct me if I am wrong, U.S. sailors are granted shore leave off watch in the USA. Just don’t come back with a .04 or higher. Shore leave has shortened up so much over the years. I just stayed on the boat in my latter years of sailing… I could wait three weeks to make an ass of myself.

1 Like

My understanding is that on union ships, it’s up to the Master.

On smaller US vessels, it’s up to company policy, and if allowed, it’s then up to the Master. The bayou boat companies and some of the bigger tug companies don’t allow anyone to go ashore. The smaller companies outside of the bayou, typically do allow crew to go ashore. The longer the hitches, the more likely it is that the crew can go ashore.

In certain ports, at certain times, with certain type of crew, I don’t allow anyone ashore. Most of the time, in most ports, I allow most guys to go ashore. If guys get into trouble or cause problems, I tighten up on shore leave. If the company has a serious no shore leave policy, I try to follow it. Many small companies have an official no shore leave policy, but unofficially look the other way.

Personally, I think crewmen should generally be allowed shore leave whenever practical, unless the hitches are very short with reliably scheduled crew changes.

What does Bouchard have for a shore leave policy? None allowed?


I was just going to post this. The cat is out of the bag now.

Any chance of a larger/more readable image? That one’s only 466 pixels wide.

Are you in your phone? Click on the picture and zoom in on it.

I’m using a PC with 1920-wide monitor. I can make it huge, but that just magnifies the blur. It’s possible to read, but would be a whole lot easier if it were say 1024 wide.

This is really rich. What a total screw up by the USCG. The USCG is threatening unpaid mariners with felony prosecution, huge fines, jail time, and license revocation if they fail to remain onboard the unsafe vessels indefinitely without pay.

Who does this USCG captain of the port think he is: Morty Bouchard? This sounds to me like a violation of the13th Amendment to the US Constitution which bans involuntary servitude.

The USCG should be arresting the vessels, and making arrangements to turn the vessels over to Substitute custodians to store them in secure lay berths.

The USCG should require Morty to come to the vessels in person with a bag of cash and pay off the crews.


The notice is addressed to the Master of the Bouchard vessel not the people working on their vessels. They are warning Bouchard’s master they have reports they have not paid their people but they better make sure someone is manning their vessels. So, they better hope those guys don’t walk off or the Master is in some deep ka-ka for having unmanned vessels. I’d suggest the master get an attorney or resign immediately. Probably less expensive to quit. When you are a master working for a company like Bouchard you gotta expect a certain amount of crap coming your way. The title Master carries responsibilities and obligations.The Master is unfortunately caught in the middle but the Master can quit so far as I know.


The way I read it the USCG is telling the Master and other crew that they cannot quit or abandon the vessel.

1 Like

The way I read it, and it it hard to read as it is a scan, is the notice is to the Master. The USCG is telling him he cannot leave the vessel improperly manned. If he the Master quits he is no longer the master and cannot be held responsible. The crew are not slaves, they can leave at any time. Once the Master resigns it is up to Bouchard to find another Master to make sure the vessel is properly manned. That Master may at any time notify the USCG that he cannot man the vessel due to the owner not paying or hiring crew. At that point the ball is in the owner’s court. The USCG can then have the vessel locked down in place and any damages that may occur subsequent to that revert to the owner or the bankruptcy master to be resolved.

1 Like

Typically on union ships, the only restriction on going ashore is if the local immigration or military authority prohibits shore leave. If this is the case the master must post a copy of the directive from the cognizant authority (or agent) stating this, otherwise the crew will be paid penalty time during their hours off for “restriction to ship.”

The only time I was ever restricted to ship in a U.S. port was in 1984 while an A.B. on an I.T.B. running to the Hess refinery in the U.S.V.I. while they were in the midst of a strike by the dockworkers. There was fear that we might get some trouble from the strikers if we crossed the picket line so we received 16 hours of penalty time everyday that we were there. I find it inconceivable that the offshore marine companies feel at liberty to treat their employees like chattel and require them to remain aboard when off duty in a U.S. port.

1 Like