Mariners carrying Knives

Has anybody experienced being told that you can’t carry a knife on board the boat because carrying one is contrary to oil companies’ safety policies? I have argued this back and forth with several companies I have worked for. I have researched this over the years in the CFRs and have not been able to come up with any finite answers.

the only reference regarding seaman carrying knives that I recall was something in the “articles” about the carrying of sheath knives left to the decression of the master.

have worked with rigs that the rig hands that came down had to use our kichen knives because they weren’t allow to carry them.

as far as a policy not allowing a seaman to carry a knife I would say that the liability of that restriction would far out wiegh any “safety” issue and might expose the company to litigation!!

sounds about like something the “desk” pilots would typically come up with!!

[quote=seadawg;16005]the only reference regarding seaman carrying knives that I recall was something in the “articles” about the carrying of sheath knives left to the decression of the master.

have worked with rigs that the rig hands that came down had to use our kichen knives because they weren’t allow to carry them.

as far as a policy not allowing a seaman to carry a knife I would say that the liability of that restriction would far out wiegh any “safety” issue and might expose the company to litigation!!

sounds about like something the “desk” pilots would typically come up with!![/quote]

I think that the Brownwater companies have come out with a multitude of rules to coincide with the desires of the insurance companies who don’t know shit about true seamanship. I have never [B]Not [/B]carried a knife in my pocket on a ship or a brownwater vessel though I have worn an alternative cutting device on my side when I know that I am going to be doing things on deck when I run as mate. I have realized that arguing with office pukes about this policy or that policy is not worth my time. I instruct my seaman as to the policies of the company but I never say anything to them if I see them with a pocket knife. I don’t want to be responsible for their not being able to cut themselves lose if caught up in the bight of a line or in any other emergency where life and limb is in danger.

If I recall, one of the conclusions of the investigation into the sinking of the Marine Electric was something to the effect of (indirect quote here) " . . . the importance of mariners having a knife with them is fortified by this report."

there is an old saying…a sailor without a knife is like a whore without a pussy!!

I apologize in advance for any offense…one must be so PC nowadays!!

I remember from the old Rules and Regs of Marine Inspection about the prohibition of carrying sheath knives. The penalty read $50 fine. $25 to the informer and $25 to the relief of disabled seamen.

I’ve been told to purchase a knife before heading up to BOTC but was told ‘no fixed blades’ I was a bit perplexed by this but from listening to the discussion a good folder is about equal to a good fixed blade (far from a consensus). But I agree, just from limited experience, something is wrong if someone says ‘no knives’.

In any case, I just ordered a Boye sheeps-foot folder and marlinespike that I hope will serve me well (http://boyeknives.com/folders.cfm). I’ve heard good things about them.

This is what I was really after though, http://www.myerchin.com/myerchin.com/A508.html , perhaps when I’m out of school, the ship will have different rules.

Edit: link would have helped.

I always tought the prohibition against “shethed kinves” was that their usually larger size made them weapons.

Some of the “multi-tools” have a knife blade, maybe they would qualify if a “knife” isn’t allowed.

I carry a box cutter.

back when I was working the oil patch the company I worked had a no knive policy, but not many of us followed it.

I have never, ever, gone aboard a vessel without a knife in my pocket. This is the first time I’ve heard of a “no knife” policy, and I’m shocked. I would feel naked and unprepared without my knife. How in the heck are you supposed to work on a boat without one? I just can’t comprehend this. Maybe it is a good thing I’m not working in the GOM.

It’s a fact that some of the major offshore drilling companies and oil companies have banned pocket knives for years on their rigs/installations. There aren’t ‘knive police’ so some guys carry them while accepting their fate (immediate dismissal) if they cut themselves with it. Security at many heliports around the world has been increased to the point where getting one through takes effort that fewer and fewer are willing to exert. When the rules originally were passed down the screaming and crying could be heard 'round the world… mine included. Five or so years down the road its hard to tell if anyone misses them. Funny that less than 10 years ago we gave them out as safety awards!

[B]You don’t :cool:[/B]

On the deck of the destroyer (DD-938) that I spent most of my Navy time aboard a fixed blade was standard. It was felt by the BMC that it “went to work faster” when you really needed it…Times have changed…I carry a Leatherman Wave these days.
MTSKIER

Once I started sailing on ocean tugs, I would carry a knife with me almost all the time. Before that, it was channel locks. In fact, there is a knife in my pocket right now, as I sit typing here in the office, just ready to jump into action.

In the early eighties I was sailing out of Singapore aboard a large salvage tug as chief mate. The German master directed me to be particularly attentive when signing on the new crew to the “Gott verdamitt” knives the sailors had in their possession. He said “The different ethnic groups had a marked propensity for stabbing each other. So, no blades longer than 10cm (4”) and break the point off each knife MR.Mate". According to the old man he learned this trick from an old Finn square rigger master who told him;“Yompin yiminny, its really hard to stick something vital with a 4” blade w/o a point and I can have the sail maker sew up slashes all day!" You have to love the practicality of those old shellbacks. I also the heard at this time the saying that Seadawg referred to…It went like this “A seaman with out a knife is like a Hamburg whore with out a c_nt, only good for giving bl_w jobs”. “Which reminds me Mr. Mate, don’t sign on any ‘Benny boys’ either or we wil have nothing but trouble!” Ahhh, but thats another story…

tugmstr,

“yompin yiminny” that ole finn was a “mossy back” not a shellback!!

I think I decked for his twin?

We’re being forced out of carrying a knife, one way or another.

I travel a significant distance for work and with the Airline Carriers charging for checked luggage, I don’t bother (keeps them from losing my luggage too!).

About 2 months ago a coworker of mine, that also travels, narrowly escaped being arrested in Providence, RI. It was not a normal port of departure for him and he forgot his knife in one bag rather than the one he checked. TSA contacted the State Police who came to take him away. The size of knife was illegal in Rhode Island.

There are reasons for exceptions to rules. Put some of the politicians and company execs in a bight and toss’em overboard. Let’s see how long that prohibition would last…

I have my doubts on the effectiveness of such things, but if I could come up with a form letter that shotgunned the responsible parties would anyone be interested?

In my mind the targets would be:

  1. Your federal congressman
  2. Your state congressman
  3. Admiral Allen (Coast Guard Commandant)
  4. Head of the TSA
  5. Head of Homeland Security

Aside from common sense I believe we can find a lot of documented practice and a lot of statistics to present a good argument for lifting and banning restrictions.

Some that pop to mind:

  1. Knives are standard issue REQUIRED equipment for USCG Boat Crews because of their safety uses (I can probably get regulation to back this up).

  2. There are numerous cases that prove the tool is not the danger in a hijacking or an attack, determined people have successfully used whatever they have to accomplish their crimes. I think it could be reasonably illustrated that banning knives has no impact at all on air safety.

  3. There are, as pointed out above, investigation reports that cite the lack of a knife as a contributing factor to tragedy at sea.

I think there is a good case to cause the Coast Guard to mandate the carrying of a knife at sea and prohibit companies from saying otherwise.

I also think with that there would have to be some sort of exception or removal of the knife ban at airports and other public transportation resources.

A mariner should always have a knife!! My crew is always steeling the galley knifes for work on deck. Other times they are asking for use of a knife from the quality mariners. Having a knife is is mariners right. The only times that I’ve seen crew threaten others it has been with a wrench. Should we remove all wrenches off the boat as potential weapons? Da^n lawyers!!

This was a good thread.

GOM Oceaneering:

No knifes alowed. Its a fireable offense. Deck guys can have an “alternative cutting device.” Its one of those prunning snipper looking things with a 4" razor steel for a cutting blade. Word was too many unlicensed deck guys on the 100 ton boats and tenders on the dive boats were cutting themselves too often.

I carry a knife in my back pocket along with my flashlight at all times when out of my bunk.
Bob