Obligation during Hurricane

Haven’t seen this really ever discussed before
but living near coastal areas at some point your
home & families could be threatened, if I feel the
need to I will tie a vessel up in a heartbeat and
head home before and not after a hurricane
with or without the company’s blessing.
Have seen many folks stay.

That’s great except the Coast Guard will most likely kick you out to sea.

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Don’t plan on leaving the boat unattended in the Port of Houston. I took one the COE launches up near the turning basin when Hurricane Ike got close. I was told by the port in no uncertain terms that permission to moor was granted only if I stayed with the boat. The COE told me in no uncertain terms to leave after securing it. I can’t quite remember my decision :sunglasses:

It certainly a real tough question if you’re family
couldn’t or didn’t evacuate, especially with large
areas without communication & power for days
and much longer on large catastrophic storms .

I worked with some guys that always made sure their homes were well stocked and secured before they left for hitches during hurricane season. A few had sat internet things like Skyroam for their families as well.

I’d think if you left a vessel you were in charge of during a hurricane and it caused environmental or property damage you’d probably be held liable. but, Im not a lawyer to say for sure.


I knew one Capt. that ended up stuck on a vessel,
Family was ok but home destroyed as were many
others, no power & sketchy service for quite some
time, much rather be where the storm hits than
where my family lives.

Every company I’ve ever worked for told us in no uncertain terms we would be staying with the boat/ship during a hurricane. The more lenient ones would sometimes concede “they might” let us go home to move cars/buy food/get meds, etc. before coming back to man the vessel through the storm. This never happened though. Luckily I never saw any crews really get bit by it, but I’m sure many have.

I have been onboard thousands of miles from home at sea or in remote corners of Alaska many times as hurricanes passed by my well prepared home on high ground. I’ve never had to worry much and never had a problem.

I learned a long time ago that the World keeps turning without me when I’m at sea.


One of the Caps that I was referring about lost
his home, than stuck on the boat for days
afterwards, even if he could have gotten off
the vessel there were no roads open & no power
& sketchy communications for quite a while.
Had to be a rather high stress situation for him
I’m sure when a catastrophic storm of this nature
came through, not just a run of the mill storm.
No problem staying with a vessel during such
events, but a storm like Katrina where you could
be separated from family for days and maybe
have little or no contact with people in an area
of massive destruction tends to make you
feel different about getting off of a vessel and
leaving it shorthanded and not without another
wheelman during these type of historic storms.

I rode out a hurricane on a MARAD ready reserve fleet vessel. All employees were allowed to bring there families aboard. As it was a ro-ro vessel, we were able to drive all our vehicles aboard for protection. We had children of all ages and pets. Not a bad way to be responsible for the vessel and your family!


I might still be sailing if I could bring family

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Not unusual for many foreign flag ships, at least the wives. . . for officers, anyway.

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As a young kid, I would ditch school to wander along the quays; I remember Greek stick ships with families, kids and livestock sharing weather decks. Malcom McLean killed the joy.


I lived in a hurricane prone part of the US for most of my career. I had discussions with the kids and wife [if I had one at the time] about what to do if a hurricane was approaching knowing I would likely not be available. Cat 1 or 2. Sit tight. Cat 3 put up storm shutters and sit tight. Cat 4 put up storm shutters and evacuate if they tell you too. Cat 5. If you have time put up storm shutters but if not run like hell.
They knew well that even if I was there I could not stop wind or water.


Have one tenant that is across the street from the ocean on Outer Banks. Told him if it’s really bad, get the fuck out, and open the front and rear doors on your return.The other one is on stilts a ways back on higher ground. Been through Cat 2’s when I occupied the property with no problem. Cat 3? That may get dicey…Not flooding, but wind even though I have a newer reinforced roof.guaranteed to 130 MPH. As far as obligation to the vessel, never left while at the dock, but tried to avoid the dock as per timely weather reports. Most ports will not let you in, prepare for that.

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I was on a vessel well west of hurricane Katrina
during and a few days after, home had some
damage , wife stayed because she took care
of her mother who was bedridden and needed
a caretaker 24/7. It was the loss of communication
and loss of power, impassable & closed roads
and all the other typical misery that comes with
it, mother in law went to local hospital but not for
long as the roof was falling in on a large portion,
than she was medivacked to another hospital.
Took me 2 day’s driving to make it home for
a regular 4-5hr drive. Would have been tough
if I had stayed at work any longer for sure.
Katrina left a nasty taste in my mouth but
A whole house generator that I plan on getting
would probably cause a lot less worry for sure
as it would be hard for the wife to evacuate
with our animals that we wouldn’t leave behind.