Running short-handed. Cadet at the pilot ladder etc

:scream: :wink:
Well, if the C/M is working 18 hr days, it would appear that he’s in violation of STCW rest rules!! LOL And you’d have another “legal” problem.

The captain on one of the last ships I worked on, stated that he would fire anyone who violated STCW rest rules [I don’t know if this was company policy]. As C/M, I gave a “cheery aye-aye”, and went to work. Knowing what would happen, I followed the policy, and when the capt called me out because of some cargo problem, after a contentious conversation about work hours, I advised him that he would have to resign, because he was requiring me to work in violation of the policy. Needless to say, we parted company at the next port. . . I’m enjoying my retirement, and wonder how much longer the industry can survive with reduced manning and increased tempo of ops. I LOVE RETIREMENT!! :+1: :+1:


My understanding was that an occasional violation when some unexpected situation occurs is not an issue. It’s when it’s not possible to maintain schedule without violating work/rest that’s a problem.

In other words a one-time violation is considered acceptable but repeated violations even when everything goes as planned is a problem.

Unless of course “something happens”.

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Ditto. As one poster said, glad to be retired. Loved where I worked at, but hours from the entrance at the Sea Bouy until exit became an issue. 24 to 30 hours discharge and fuel up, get supplies and repairs. Half the crew was working cargo, other half getting shit for the vessel. We loved getting out of town and a bit of rest.

Concur. Exceptions were OK in the “real world”, Because reasonable people know that crap happens. I eschew unreasonable people-like the guy (or company) that was going to fire people for a single violation.

You working guys - stay safe out there!!

I was C/M at the time. Two weeks is bit of an exaggeration. One of the worse runs was the Persian Gulf (so-called). Seven ports in 11 days. Got a break on the 18 hr. run between Bahrain and Kuwait. We did one time hit 4 ports in just over 24 hrs, maybe about 25 hrs. That’s 4 arrivals and 4 departures.

Nobody cared about work/rest back then.

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Tough route Kennebec. I left out the part with two or three customer shifts while in port. Again, tolerated it then, just business. Rules??? Don’t need no stinking rules. About how they rolled back then. Perhaps that has changed with SMS, but I doubt it. It’s paper, not reality.

As long as no oil hit the water.


Correct sir. Kiss of death to all.

They say “all ambiguity is resolved at the tip of the spear”. That’s what it’s all about, ambiguity. Before an event risks have to be estimated and conflicts resolved. After an event things crystalize into what regulators and investigators call “facts”.

The investigators have a choice of which '“facts” to accept or reject. For example they can go by the work/rest hours as recorded on paper or try to determine actual work/rest hours .

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We had almost as many lawyers as seafarers.

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So with regards to the original question; it’s true that if the IMO revoked the rule that a “responsible officer” has to attend then the overall risk of a mishap world-wide would increase. But what’s true in general is not necessary true in specific instances.

So for example in one specific case the third mate be indifferent and incompetent while the cadet very sharp, it happens. Operational risk may in fact be lower using the cadet.

If “something happens” it may or may not be a legal problem. For example it may be found that it did not contribute to the incident.

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In which case the investigators may well look at matching the hours worked with the overtime records.

Overtime? That went out the door decades ago. “Incentive Pay” took it’s place. Yea, right.

To be clear; sailing foreign-going, deep-sea it’s standard practice to send a license deck officer. I think it would be unwise to deviate from that practice in that sector.

For one it’s too difficult to explain the logic of operational vs legal risk. Better to stick to the program and avoid the possibility of having that discussion.

Beating this subject to smithereens. Sorry the Suez Pilot was disrespected. HIS problem not mine. We got our pilots onboard and discharged with no problems or lawsuits because of injury to ones ego. Time to move on.


You are correct that overtime went out the door decades ago, but only with first world crews and ships officers. The majority of the worlds shipping employ third world crews and pretty well all are on wages and overtime. A certain amount of overtime is generally guaranteed in their contract.

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Before retirement I have been many years in command of tankers,ULCC and VLCC. Many tears ago I had a crew of 42 persons on the ULCC. At the end my crew was 21 including me with work load increased because we started to go to Persian gulf via Suez Canal in ballast . Problems started when in addition to greater work load we had to fill individual forms for all crew member with working and rest hours in compliance with STCW. Very difficult task . How you can combine the two (working and rest) when you transit English Channel bound to Rotterdam fully loaded, dense fog since the entrance and having to use the deep water route ? After leaving the sea I started to inspection and vetting ships . I always refused to check and control the written and/or computerized working hours records because all fake due to nowadays short crews . I’m now retired but always in full disagreement with some STCW rules and tankers vetting systems.


All water under the bridge, right?

A lot of mariners (and almost no non-mariners) never really fully comprehended the consequences of compliance with work-rest regulations.

If the manning stays the same or decreases and if the schedules stay the same or get tighter what changes with the requirement for improved work/rest?

Either the most qualified crew members are going to work longer hours with the attendant increase risk of fatigue (and increased legal risk) or less qualified crew members will be substituted with a resultant increase in the risk of error due to inexperience.

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Not many tears ago. I’m 6 years into retirement and yes, all it’s over now.!