Drunks Operating


BTW the bar is opened only when in port. Not at sea.


The contact details of every PSC organisation is published and reviewed every 6 months by the IMO. It is available on board ships as Annex II.
Basically, if my ship is calling at Kalama in the Longview River, I will know beforehand which USCG district i will be under. The contact details include phone numbers, fax and email id.
Next port of call -Douala, Cameroon? Yes, i will know the PSC contact details.


MOU is only a functional grouping that has a common database, nothing more. If a ship has been inspected in Japan, it would likely not be inspected again in the Philippines within the next 6 months.
The US participates in all IMO proceedings, but charts a different course in implementation. That’s juat how the US always has been. The rest of the world has learnt to live with it.


You’re right. My experience was before the policy change made some years ago after some sailors got drunk and caused a ruckus while on leave in San Diego. The brass didn’t waste any time; they ordered the ship home immediately and imposed restrictions on liquor consumption across the entire fleet.
I think the brass overreacted.


I don’t know about Canada but this has been a commonwealth thing for a long time. There are some variations for every nation. Australian warships allow two beers at sea at the discretion of the CO, but for sailors only…not Officers. US Navy is completely dry.


drinking is only a problem on US vessels ( and Navy) I notice.


That’s true at least anecdotally for me. I hung out at a pub when in port in Bahrain. Once inside, with the wood paneling, the dartboards and the red wooden phone booth it felt like you were in the middle of London. Mostly Brit and Aussie sailors frequented the place. It had a great atmosphere; the beer flowed and by closing time you might see a bunch of sailors standing on tables linking arms and singing their hearts out about their ship or home sweet home.
On the US base, the beer was dished out in a place with the atmosphere of a warehouse. By closing time you were more likely to see guys throwing punches at each other than linking arms and belting out a song praising the vicar’s daughter and her special talents.


I have an interesting take on drinking and sailing. I know that when I was on ships with larger crews, it certainly went on and, for the most part, we got our work done. There were three or four occasions that I recall when we had some issue with crew members and officers abusing the unofficial policy. I do know on the SL7 that I sailed on, three of us day working engineers would pack off to one of the empty cabins and drink the wine that we purchased in Rotterdam. No one was drinking during watch (that made it obvious, anyway). I did find that on smaller vessels such as ocean tugs and ATBs, there really wasn’t any time and we enforced it pretty strongly. I did fire one of my (new) reliefs because he showed up drunk. So drunk, that he tried to light a cigarette on the open deck of the barge while we were discharging gasoline. Lovely.

Many of the foreign flag vessels that I surveyed while with ABS had, if not a full bar, at least a bar that served beer and wine. They were generally only open at sea. Also, with some of the US oil company tankers, foreign flag, of course, not only would there be a pub or bar of some kind, wine was served with dinner daily. I remember spending many Friday afternoons on ships with Spanish officers in the lightering area, having brandy and tapas in the Captain’s office, reviewing the day’s surveys before getting on the chopper and flying back in.


This is how we do it on the Bahamas flagged tankers that I’ve been on. 2 beers in the evening if you are on day work and we are at sea and we haven’t run out. Nothing hard, and no one is allowed to take it out of the mess and stockpile it. And if its Christmas, they wont even charge you for it. No drinking allowed on shore-leave any more, though. Shore-leave is for chocolate and electronics, anyway: everyone knows that. If you get to go, you come back feeling like a drug mule:

Gangway watch: Why is your bag so heavy? Are you trying to bring back bottles?

me: No. Lecky and Sec and Primo wanted candy.

Watch: 5 kilos?

Its not like cruise ships: the comrades tell me that drinking is expected of you there. You are meant to put on your whites and dance with the pensioners.



You learned a lesson. I’m gonna guess you are a deckhand and hold no license, meaning you are expendable anywhere. You will be fine, it might be a blessing in disguise because a good company probably wouldn’t do that. Maybe there were performance issues as well and this was the final straw. Either way, just start fresh somewhere and put your head down, get to work, take care of yourself and the rest will fall in line. Nobody in any occupation wants to work with a snitch. Maybe the appropriate thing would have been to approach these co-workers and tell them to stop because it’s unfair to people like you that are abiding by the rules, ie give them a warning. Either way not the end of the world. You have nothing on your record, just a learning experience.


I recall riding a small Chevron tanker from La Paz, Mexico to Panama for tank inspection in the early 90s. There was a bar on board, and all they had to drink in it was beer. I was told that just recently, they had hard liquor, too; but that ended when they made a port call in the Bay Area and some of the corporate folks came aboard and noticed it. Considering that this was just a year or two after the EXXON VALDEZ incident, they were a bit concerned. The officers were told to get rid of the hard stuff once they were at sea.

Agreed with the cruise ship policy. I rode one for a week in the late 90s for their annual passenger ship inspection. In the evenings, the safety officer and I would belly up to the bar, him in his whites, and me drinking on his tab. . . .


Back in the day when things were a bit more reasonable we often had ship barbecues where beer or wine was available for those off-watch and weren’t soon to go one watch. Generally when you treat people like adults, they act like adults. When you treat them like children, they act like children. Those who had a problem were usually quickly identified and cut off. If there were continuing issues they weren’t around long.


That’s a good way of putting it. The same (usually) goes for micromanaging and riding the deck crew. If you’re treating them like they’re slackers and constantly doing random inspections and hounding then then they are going to slack off every chance they get.