Is my experience considered normal for the industry?

[COLOR=black]I recently returned home from a hitch with an offshore towing company and must say, the experience aboard was quite the eye opener. I sailed international as an AB with a total crew of 5 having my past experience aboard harbor tugs, gaming ships and inland boats. [COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]As a career mariner, I have had the pleasure to serve and learn under some of the most professional Masters and Pilots in the business. However this hitch was definitely not the case and I would like input from the masses if this is normal or just a bad experience.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]Prior to my employment, my union representative indicated to me that my position with the company was a temporary 30 day hitch. This was asked and confirmed several times by the union rep and a company rep. With this in mind, I was able to make arrangements to join the vessel for 30 days while having obligations to see to at the end of the hitch. Only once we were underway, I was informed by the Master that the duration of the hitch was at least 60 days. When I questioned the information and informed the Master that I was told 30 days, the response was, “Oh well kiddo. I only go home for 2 weeks a year.” I would not have accepted the position aboard the vessel knowing it was longer than 30 days.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]Prior to our arrival in Venezuela, I once again asked the Master why I was told 30 days when in fact it was 60. This was met with ridicule such as, “Don’t worry, someone else is fucking your wife and beating your kid now.” It was the following day I received word, not from the Master, but the rest of the crew that the terms of my employment was “changed” from temporary to permanent.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]I have always had a very good rapport with Masters I have served under and the companies I have worked for, but comments such as, “What are you, one of those fucking Born Again Christians?” were directed at me when I wouldn’t drink alcoholic beverage aboard the vessel or attend trips to the local brothel.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]I requested to leave the vessel and fly home after the Master justified his sexual exploits with a 14 year old girl as “helping her family in back in Columbia” as well as treatment in his recovery from prostate cancer. When it became obvious travel arrangements were not going to be made, I flew home on my own dime. Once I landed in the US, I contacted the company office and told them what had transpired and was told never to seek employment with them again and I best “keep my fucking mouth shut”.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]So, my question is this: Have I blackballed myself from the maritime industry by jumping ship? What could or should I have done differently?<O:p</O:p
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I would guess you have had the greater part of luck if this is the first scumbag capt you have found! But then again, it sounds like you found a WHOLE company that was like minded.

While on one hand it is refreshing to know that ‘the good old days’ still exist as far as port calls, liberty and beer go; But this company sounds like a great place to stay away from in any case.

Lesson learned. It only cost you air fare! Think how expensive it could have been if you had to actually use your survival suit or the raft! Did you even find one in your room? How many drills did you do on the way to Venezuela? Was this a US flagged tug? or foreign, with a US owner?

][COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]So, my question is this: Have I blackballed myself from the maritime industry by jumping ship? What could or should I have done differently?<O:p</O:p
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the short answer is NO you will be fine, and what else could you do? life is way too short to work in a place that you are not happy. if you felt uncomfortable then you did the right thing by leaving.

The boat is US flagged and US owned by a company I thought was pretty darn reputable. I made it a point to locate gear that was in good condition…I even found the spanner wrenches for the fire stations neatly stowed away in the engine room so “they wouldn’t get lost”.

Didn’t you have a contract? Even an e-mail confirmation? It sounds like you have a legitimate claim for your airfare home. I would leave out the other stuff.

I would seriously report the captain for sex tourism that just pisses me off I hate people that victimize children

no, your experiences are not typical from my prospective (+24 international years as senior deck officer & captain on cruise ships, supply boats, pipe lay vessel, anchor handling boats, tall ships, and a container ship & ITB thrown in for good measure). if what you posted is a true version of events then you will not be blacklisted.
I would not bother trying to get your air fare money back or get the law involved, a much more effective retribution would be to post the names of the company, vessel, & captain/crew involved here on gcaptain: we’ll take care of the rest and you will have a clear conscience…

I think that richard8000milesaway has it right say it on Gcapt no way you are blacklisted matter of fact post who the scumbags are I dont want to work for them In Short getback is Here at Gcapt He is right.It will black list them and may be get them in trouble DAM STRAIGHT Bro do it put them on here CRUCIFY THEM.Just think he might be doing this to other kids in the U.S Now that pisses me off worse think about other kids here.What if it was your future child.HUH

[QUOTE=Fishplate;34361][COLOR=black]essel knowing it was longer than 30 days.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]Prior to our arrival in Venezuela, I once again asked the Master why I was told 30 days when in fact it was 60. This was met with ridicule such as, “Don’t worry, someone else is fucking your wife and beating your kid now.” It was the following day I received word, not from the Master, but the rest of the crew that the terms of my employment was “changed” from temporary to permanent.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]I have always had a very good rapport with Masters I have served under and the companies I have worked for, but comments such as, “What are you, one of those fucking Born Again Christians?” were directed at me when I wouldn’t drink alcoholic beverage aboard the vessel or attend trips to the local brothel.[/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][COLOR=black][FONT=Arial]So, my question is this: Have I blackballed myself from the maritime industry by jumping ship? What could or should I have done differently?<O:p</O:p
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What did your port agent say about the ordeal?

Was it Captain Mick from D/O

The whole thing about “sex tourism” has my blood up. It’s bad enough to get shanghaied, it’s another to have to put up with pervs. Yeah, I’d say posting the outfit here would serve the bastards right.
You did the right thing. Forget the airfare, you’ll find another job, one that won’t insult or demean your professional standard.

You did sign foreign articles when you boarded? How long was mentioned on the articles? The only problem I see is that you signed went foreign, and left in the middle of the voyage. For that reason I would not pursue this further. I would imagine a lawyer would LOVE to see you put some companys name up here, and the capt too. Libel and slander are a easy way to make money

[QUOTE=cappy208;34493]You did sign foreign articles when you boarded? How long was mentioned on the articles? The only problem I see is that you signed went foreign, and left in the middle of the voyage. For that reason I would not pursue this further. I would imagine a lawyer would LOVE to see you put some companys name up here, and the capt too. Libel and slander are a easy way to make money[/QUOTE]

I don’t recall signing foreign articles but I could be mistaken. What would be the implications if I had? I did complete the 30 days as originaly agreed. The company name and captain’s name will not be posted as I enjoy working more than having to go to court. Also, I beleive there is a special little place in hell for people like the captain (right next to the lawyers).

Dude who cares about some law suit It may seem now like trouble but I would be willing to bet everyone would stand behind you this guy has done this befour that you can be sure of and he will rob some other innocent kid of thier life some day he will run in to some one like me and I wont give a shit HANGEM as far as slander goes who or what are you worried about this guy will have all the attention on him so much for the company but if you let it go some day it will come back and Bite you in the ass. There is enough crap going on if you can take one guy of the list so much the better.I guess what it Boils down to is you make the difference for some other person or kid

I’d be willing to bet a “low key” inquiry through your union port agent would at least get your transportation expenses. You’re paying for representation. You might as use it.

I have to dredge back into the noggin, but when a vessel goes foreign the crew list is made out and every one signs it. all in a list, from Capt down to Cook. and every one in between. These are the “articles”. Does this ring a bell?

Part of the responsibilities of master on a foreign voyage is to ensure the crews safety and legitimate status. another part is to make sure the crew fulfills the articles. As long as you fulfilled the time (or voyage stated on the article) then you are free to depart the vessel. However it has to be at the masters/company approval and with arrangements made through US consulate.

You don’t mention it, but did they call the US consulate in VZ? was there any problem with your departure? Did you just simply leave the vessel? Did US immigration ask you why there was no entry stamp on your passport ( when u entered VZ?) for example, when you entered VZ you were part of the vessels crew. as such you dont need to be stamped in, but your status changed by leaving the vessel.

I really dont know the legal ramifications about you leaving (whatever circumstances there were) But this is why I wouldn’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. I don’t think your name is mudd (as it were) but if you stir up a hornets nest with the CO they may bring up all these other issues to aggravate you back.

Then again, allowing this to happen surely indicates a company none of us should have to work with.

post the name of the company/vessel to protect future crew.

G*d D#m child molester! Post everything you can.

I really can’t see any big deal about some guy called Fishplate telling a sea story on a maritime website.

Libel and slander be damned,name names and let the truth (and your anonymity) be your shield.

You are getting a lot of passionate advice hear from people who have nothing to lose. You would be a fool to make accusations against individuals or companies for which you can offer zero proof. And as far as your anonymity goes, I doubt you have any anonymity if someone wants to pursue you for libel or slander.

Just to be devil’s advocate - you are being encouraged to accuse someone of doing something based upon … what? You said you were not even there?

In summary, relying on legal advice from anonymous posters on a website for sailors is probably not a good idea.