Maersk Bosun Attacks CM In Overtime Dispute

Where the hell is Mr. Heiva??? I miss his inspiring comments.

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In my time at sea I have sailed with many different nationalities as officers and crew, one seismic vessel had 14 different nationalities onboard. Having said that many years ago I sailed with an Indian crew. We had 3 seperate galleys. The engine room crew and the deck crew were different castes and each had their own cook. The officers cooks and stewards were from Goa and could do British cuisine as poorly as the British. The Indians preferred to sail with British officers, with a sprinkling of Aussies and Kiwis, than Indian officers. Things didn’t go well when Italian officers were treated to the same cuisine.
It must be challenging today to have Russians and Ukrainians on the same ship as we did in the past.
Violence can never be tolerated in any form. In the navy striking an officer is a very serious offence but the officer concerned is judged as well.
With an international crew some attention has to be given to the cultural norms of different nationalities to make it work.

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And here I am maxing out OT so my guys get paid…


It was a terrible attempt to derail the discussion by not addressing it. No True Scotsman called.


This was interesting. Worth the discussion, despite the usual schlong-mesurement contests in lieu of discussion.
The video doesn’t have enough detail to give a picture of the root causes of why this happened. We all have suspicions and opinions and biases. As KC pointed out, there’s a solution that was always available and not chosen, bearing in mind that in a compromise all parties walk off unsatisfied. My bias suggests that this was an F Around and Find Out lesson for the mate. Doesn’t make it correct, and the deckhand will pay the price, hard, of course. But who knows the fullstory? Not us, to be sure. No reason for us to pick sides.
Anyone who has worked in the real trades (Sorry. Put on a few roofs or gut an apartment building, and you’ll know we are not) knows that a punch in the boss’ mouth has consequences but is ALWAYS an option. Having been punched in the mouth after going too far in bitching out a crewman when fishing commercially, I find this generally accurate and a valuable lesson. Tut-tutting it and crying ‘this is unacceptable’ is not a solution. No shit, hoss. We are professionals, but we are not serfs. It still happens. Circling the wagons isn’t any more helpful than name-calling.
The only thing we can perhaps all agree on is that this couldn’t happen without multiple failures and there is a possibility of shared blame.


You’re 100% correct about us not knowing what happened. Maybe the CM is a 100% complete dick? Or maybe he already had one, two or three conversations about non-authorized OT with his bosun? Or maybe the previous Chief Mate had a conversation about non authorized OT & then the new CM was warned & tried to be ambushed by the bosun with frevilios OT? (I seen that happen). Who knows? What ddisgusts me is how many mariners on this forums jumped to the conclusion, "The victim of the assault is an officer of Indian descent, of the “kiss ass, kick down, rice bowl culture” who got what he deserved. (AND this is coming from me, an engineering officer who usually doesn’t like mates.) If this happened on land in the US, EU or most other modernized countries the bosun would have went to jail, been charged with assault & been blackballed from his industry. That’s why I say I’m ashamed of my fellow mariners. The maritime culture of defending violence & assault is inexcusable.


Did they know this was being filmed?

I agree 100% that violence and assault aboard ship is indefensible

However when dealing with shipboard discipline it is important to keep in mind this isn’t sports where if a player goes out-of-bounds a ref is gong to blow a whistle and stop the play. On this subject a captain once told me don’t put a crew member in a corner unless you want them there.

It’s far better to avoid physical confrontations if possible, including threats such as brandishing a knife and so forth but the argument has been made on this thread that actual experience can sometimes be a better teacher than book learning which I think is true, at least for boneheads like me.

Another point that some people miss, with regards to the failure to remove persistent bullies (possibly the C/M in this case) from the ship is not just to avoid the general unpleasantness a bully creates but more importantly the possibility that if the problem is not dealt with officially a crew member might decide to take matters into their own hands and the methods they choose might lead to a less favorable outcome.


To paraphrase the philosopher Chris Rock. I don’t agree with what the bosun did, but I understand.


Yes. CM refers to being filmed.

Regardless of race, rights and wrongs etc, No rating can attack an officer on a ship. Many years ago when this occurred, I landed the man to the police in Capetown and when asked, I requested I years hard labour that was duly granted. Either way and regardless of rights and wrongs an officer cannot be attacked. he must be dismissed the Ship and the Company and hopefully never employed on a ship again. A ship survives on the discipline on board which should be fair but enforced.

A year hard labor? I’m glad I never worked for you.

Are you ok with an officer attacking a rating?


Sounds fishy. Are you sure the local authorities granted you the power of judge jury and executioner without question or is it possible they turned him over to his country’s embassy for a flight home?


No. This was quite common in SA for any such case on a ship. He did his full time on Robben Island.

As was the style of the time…

…should have given him the OT.


I agree with all of that, except to reiterate thst vioence is ALWAYS an option and can’t be legislated away, merely discouraged.


US Code is strangely quiet on the matter.

On the topic of a seaman attacking an officer, they’re pretty clear:

I beg to differ.
Sometimes officers on ships NEED to be poked. The boatswain received the message the seaman was putting out…I’m certain the seaman was properly disciplined for his actions.
…if I had to do brig-time for getting my justice on the Div-O…probably a big chicken dinner to boot…you better believe I am gonna get my message across and perhaps that Bug is gonna think twice the next time they wanna pencil fuck an enlisted.


You are probably a troll. You are definitely an idiot who confuses the Merchant Marine with the Navy.