Shore Leave Being Denied by Company


Yes, you do, that’s why crews aren’t allowed off the boats anymore. They got drunk, went home and missed jobs, got in fights, etc a few too many times so the big OSV companies stopped letting people go out except for a jog or a walk to the gas station.


You obviously didn’t actually read the thread since we’re talking about people that work 4 week rotations.


In most of the GOM I was content with a jog or walk to the gas station but I worked with too many assholes who interpreted the SMS manual as no getting off the boat period.


Way back when I was in tankers we were discharging at Pulau Bukum and I was mate. The Master told me to go up the club for a couple of hours. I had been onboard for six months and although the cook was ok to eat something cooked by someone else was like eating in a fine restaurant.
Going ashore in Nigeria is not recommended.


Have you actually ever seen this with your own eyes in the oilfield? Or is this all anecdotal evidence?


No, I got there after people weren’t allowed to leave anymore. Many people I worked with that had been there for much longer said they used to be able to have their wife come pick them up and go out/home and such. Things only ever change if there are problems with the status quo so people must have abused the privilege.


The IMO FAL Convention, which entered into force 01. Jan. 2018 is supposed to guarantee seamen the right to shoreleave anywhere in the world without undue restrictions:

Here is the paragraph about shoreleave:

This is of course about Governments, Port Authorities etc. setting restriction but it is by definition also applicable to Owners and Masters of ships. (or at least should be)

Here is an article from 2015 about the importance of shoreleave to seamen’s welfare, mental health, as well as to efficiency and safety:

This right is set down in MLC’06 and in most collective bargaining agreements,incl. standard ITF contracts.


Then go after those people who abused the privalege, don’t target the privalege itself. Going ashore should be a right for all seaman. Wherever and whenever possible! Just like it’s written in the MLC 2006. How long your hitches are shouldn’t matter because at the end of the day we all spend atleast half our lives onboard. I’m not here to argue the intricacies of where MLC 06 is applicable and where it isn’t. In my opinion it should be applicable to all sailors regardless of vessel type, flagstate, or rotation length.


This thread is about the company or master denying shore leave. According to the article you posted shore leave requires permission of the master in any case. Because GOM mariners have no collective bargaining agreements or contracts MLC is irrelevant in this case


Unless their boat has an MLC SoVC… which it seems more and more of the boats are getting as they take jobs outside the gulf and return. Last three orange boats I’ve sailed as Master on had them.

I’m also one of the “SMS says it’s at my discretion, so you guys go do your thing, but if you fuck up, know that everyone in the crew will know you’re the reason they can’t go ashore now” kind of captain though, so it’s kind of a moot point.


The effect of being denied shoreleave is the same on any seaman, which is what the second link was about.
Of course it id harder on someone on 6 mth. contracts than on offshore workers on shorter schedules, but it is still an additional hardship. Being on a Drillship or whatever for 28 days and not even seeing land is one thing, but sitting in port and be held back on the ship because someone, sometime, somewhere did something stupid is an entirely different situation, incl. mentally.

Although MLC’06 does not apply on US ships, do you restrict your crew from going ashore when situation permits??


I’ve signed dozens of those preboard contracts & they all said I was going to get 2.5 days of paid vacation days for ever 30 worked. I’ve never seen a cent of that vacation money so I don’t think the company’s care about those contracts & only have us sign them to pass inspections.


I am not expressing an opinion about the value of shore leave for mariners. I was trying to un-muddy the waters.

For a mariner to be able to go ashore two things are needed.

#1. Permission from the master to leave the ship.
#2. Permission from port authorities to come ashore.

Because this thread is about U.S. mariners in a U.S. port this:

only muddies the waters because, unless you have a better link, it applies only to #2.

So if anyone was to click on you links you provided hoping to find something relevant to this thread they would be wasting their time.


Is it the stakeholders or is it just the HR department punch drunk on the power they’ve accumulated in recent years?


Yes, but it does give the Captains that aren’t assholes the power to tell the office “nope, this boat is MLC compliant, I’m not keeping the crew from their shore leave.”


I disagree. In shipping with long hitches it matters, on workboats it doesn’t. If you can’t go a few weeks without going to the store or bar then you’re in the wrong career.


I knew American work-life balance sucked ass, but this is just a sad thread.


Are you referring to US flag vessels with SoVC, or any vessels and owners/managers??


I was on the Noble rig up there for that season. We were at Vigor right downtown, but nobody was allowed off, except for some senior guys (Subsea, Driller, etc). I asked a couple guys why we weren’t allowed out and was told it’s because we can get up to trouble. The only one that got into trouble was a subsea guy who got shit faced in Dutch and wasn’t allowed to board the flight home. I could practically see my wife in the apartment 10mins away. We were only there about a week and i just treated it like I was at sea. No big deal.


When I did tramp towing (for a red NY based tug company) we were encouraged to get off the boat and stretch our legs if we had the opportunity. The only catch was not to leave the boat unattended, come back to the boat at night (unless you happened to actually live nearby), and not get drunk/arrested.