Quitting when overdue. OVERSEAS

I had a debate with another deck officer a few days ago regarding resignation from positions or quitting while overseas. If you are overdue on your contracted relief date, are you legally within your rights to quit without punishment from the USCG. I referenced the CFR’s, and US Code, but couldn’t find anything to support my arguments. Anyone have experience/know the specific CFR or US code for this?

Not if you signed foreign articles.

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What contract? The cadets I’ve sailed with don’t have a contract except the ship’s articles. If there’s a union contract it would apply to the rest of the crew but not the cadets.

I’ve not encountered any other type of contract with a crewmember on a U.S. flag ship.

Sorry for the confusion… This is in reference to ships crew, not cadets. And specifically regarding ships articles or union contracts.

Non union vessels often have contracts, especially fishing vessels. Some times contracts are required, or the lack of a contract creates certain presumptions, or penalties, under state law (e.g. Washington). Some non union tugboats have contracts. Some of these contacts are horribly one sided - full of advantages and protections for owners and waivers of all seamen’s legal rights (a lot of unenforceable bullshit). Sometimes the employee handbook is the contract.

You can tell a lot about a company by what is, or isn’t, in its contract.

Regardless of whatever the contract says, or whatever the law might be, do not quit in a foreign port. As a practical matter that is a terrible idea. Merely being overdue for relief is not a justifiable reason to quit. Just finish the voyage.

Tugsailor, I agree, it’s a bad idea to operate like this. I’m simply trying to find the references for this type of situation.

The C.G. doesn’t care about the union contracts, only the ship’s articles.


More the question of how will they get home.

If you walk off a ship, the ship/company won’t help you get “stamped*” into the country to be there legally. If not there legally, then you’re there illegally. Then you can’t go through their customs/immigration to leave. Many countries are real particular about that.

(* As in go to their customs/immigration office to get their stamp on your passport, and recognized as being in the country legally.)

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Even if you quit the company has to get you back to the US. Different story if you’re already in the US.


Try this…

4 posts were split to a new topic: Quitting when foreign or in a U.S. port