Master’s Authority and Accountability. Hmm how’s it go for you

I did t want to foul up the conception thread with this.
But we all know the 100t Master of a small passenger vessel is currently in deep shit.
He worked for many years for a small but reputable tour boat company, who left it pretty much up to him. Regulations were reportedly not complied with.
Some posters have raised points about how much authority did the master really have.
And what would have happened if he exercised his authority.
I don’t know those answers,
We all know with hindsight he was in the wrong, the regulations were not complied with.
As for what if any repercussions may occur to the owner.
Well reputation wrecked business is closed. Potential charges must be a concern. None yet.

So my question,
What kind of response have you had, if and when you have made Captain like decisions.
Is it something you worry about.
In particular have you ever been concerned about repercussions.

I refused to fire the main once (as “Chief”) because the owner / operator was about to do something spectacularly stupid. He wanted to depart for Algeria to buy black market diesel without enough on board to make the return journey if the deal went sour. I was certain I’d lost my job, and I probably would have if subsequent events hadn’t proven me right. When we arrived, the price had shifted by two orders of magnitude (“What, you thought I said two cents per liter? Nono, it’s two euros per liter!”), and I was the new hero on board. In that job I was literally worried sick about where to draw the line, how to keep people safe while keeping my job. I lasted less than two years.

Making such dramatic gestures to change established practice and policy is obviously unthinkable.


I saw it described as being like a “get out of jail free” card in the game Monopoly,.

A captain one gets one after every 10 years sailing master without incident, or at least no more than a few minor ones,


I would say honestly I’ve never been pressured to do something I didn’t want to do.
Sure I have had to answer questions.
One of the big thing I learned early on was keep my boss in the loop.
Weather, deficiency, ect
Sometimes I had to educate a boss, which was just a case of explaining to a non Mariner why something was the way it was.
Actually that was my boss’s Boss. Funny every one seams to have a boss.

I was once asked by a non-mariner in a high and mighty position why I had made a certain decision during a rig move. I refused to oblige and he wanted to know why.
My answer; “Because there is no way in h*ll you’ll understand any\how”.
Maybe not the most polite and diplomatic response, but that was my honest opinion.