Shore Leave Being Denied by Company


When I first started out on Tugs in the late 70’s - early 80’s, you could still go ashore and have a beer. The companies did not allow it but for the most part they looked the other way. Now, if you had a prick for a Captain all bets were off but even then you could still get off and walk around.

The last vessel that I was on, we were allowed to leave but there was a Zero Tolerance Program so NO drinking. The Captain that I sailed with use to give me (CE) crap each and every time I wanted to run up to Wally World for something. His reasoning was that I might be needed at any time but he would disappear all the time. His excuse was well the CM is onboard. Well, then he started taking off with the CM, so much for that excuse.

When I did get off for an hour or so, he would blow my cell up calling about every ten minutes asking When the Fuck would I be back. It finally got to the point I wouldn’t even leave the vessel. I finally laughed at him when I told him I had to go up and talk the my PE about something and he said why can’t you just call. The funny thing is I could have fried this captain’s ass for drinking but I didn’t as that’s just not who I was back then.

We have all worked with some guys can not be trusted to go up the street with out bringing shit down on everyone else. So part of me understands the feelings but we are supposed to be Men and Women not kids and as far as I’m now concerned if you screw up while ashore then you’re gone! Yes, my opinion has changed as lets face it times have changed and the old days (for better or worse) are long gone. With that said, this is NO excuse to ban everyone from leaving a vessel. If I worked for a Captain that did this for NO reason, I would spend my entire tour plotting how to driving said Captain nuts. Now nothing illegal or even dangerous but if the A/C or maybe the Hot Water in his head goes out in his stateroom every once and a while well shit happens.


Doesn’t it roll downhill? It did in the Navy… :wink:


Well as the old saying goes, don’t put it out if you can’t take it back! Sometimes it was fun other times it could suck but at least it made the time go by a little quicker.


On almost all Vanuatu & Panamanian vessels I worked I had to sign a contract before a port state or flagstate inspection. One some US flag vessels I had to sign a contract when international, it depended on how on top of the game the master or CO was. In the GOM on US flagged vessels I never had to sign a contract. I saved most of my contracts & if I ever hear about any class action lawsuits I’m going to try to get in on it to claim my 2.5 day vacation money. It was mostly the master who signed for the company but at least 3 times it was the designated person ashore who signed & emailed it to us.


When I sailed on tugs and ATBs, I don’t recall ever having been restricted to the vessel in port. Most of those times I was CE. Oh, and I was quite the drinker back in those days. Many times, I was ashore WITH the captain . . . . was a different time. Also, during my time on larger vessels, as soon as we were issued shore passes, off we went. Of course this was the 70s and the 80s. It was also NOT the oil patch.

And acts of revenge on the Deck Officers? Why, I never. . . . . .


There was a saying – never piss off a Hospital Corpsman aboard ship, because he held your shot record. Be a shame if it got lost, and all he had handy was the square needle in the left nut…


Come to think of it, it was deemed unwise to piss off the snipes, for reasons such as the ones you mentioned… :wink:


Look to the ambulance chasers before blaming the company.

I was on a diving support ship in the GoM years ago when the cook got off on rotation. He stopped by a few bars on the way home and successfully sued the company when he got hurt in a car wreck before reaching home.
Can you blame the company for wanting to keep morons in a cage between the job and their home?


They say oil and water are immiscible, but I have seen some mixing in the bar on go-home day. I think akvavit must be a good emulsifier. We had a Swedish Captain who might have never made it home without the Swedish Chief’s help. I will say no more about it, except that when a Nigerian bartender lady says “no more,” that is a hard rule, with no workarounds.


Sadly there are now a couple of generations in the USA that believe this crap is normal. Workers having lives or rights is deemed socialist or unpatriotic. The USA is an oligarchy and no longer the home of the free. A large percentage feel the need to carry a gun everywhere they go, birth rate is falling and obesity level is #1 among industrialized countries. The sun is setting.


Other than that how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln?


I was never “restricted to the vessel” in Fourchon, but there’s no place to go. Granted the people that lived within driving distance weren’t allowed to go home, but we could get off the boat.

In fact, the only people I’ve heard about being restricted to the vessel are on tankers and oil barges. Refineries in the US don’t even like to let crew changes through anymore, they’re not going to let you go sightsee in town.


So is it some companies and some Masters that set restrictions, others don’t?
PS> Fourchon doesn’t sound like a nice place to go ashore anyhow, but to ban shore leave still sounds like something that nobody else could get away with.

There are refineries in other places in the world with strict security (Jurong Island, Singapore for one) but I have never heard of them banning shore leave or crew change. Arrangement have to be made within the rules though.


Crew leave is a necessity for some poor souls. You see them lined up off the bus waiting to go through security to go back to their tanker with bags of food and containers of milk. A friend of mine is a pilot for the off take tankers at one field, he takes his own sandwiches.


yoose guys/gals can’t fool me, you just want to go to the local bar and get hammered!,

                      signed, the management.


It’s not so much whether you actually want to go ashore in some backwater bayou swamp town with nothing there, but the fact that you can if you want to. What is insufferable is the Joe Bawss attitude that he’s the bawass and you are just his white trash lackies that he can treat like shit just because he can, and it’s a good way for him to keep you in your place.

Can’t go ashore. Can’t fish. Can’t step on deck to smoke without putting on a full kit of pseudo safety gear. The only type of “sailor” in the work that is not allowed to carry a knife. Everyone treated like a retarded child.

In life shit happens. Cars crash. Skiers go off the trail into the trees and rocks. People fall overboard and drown. People smoke and get cancer. People get drunk. People catch social disease. And on it goes. Being onboard a boat is half, or two thirds, of life. People live and life comes with many risks. We accept these risks every day. Sometimes shit happens. It’s just how it is.

Not long ago, sailors were sailors. They went ashore whenever they could and often did get drunk. A few got into trouble. Most didn’t. This worked well enough for hundreds of years, and for some of us it still does. Why should it change? This Joe Bawss micromanagement of his white trash thing is fairly new. Unfortunately, it’s spreading to big companies elsewhere.

I like working where everyone is required to carry a knife. Where nobody is going crazy with all the pseudo safety nonsense. Where we can go ashore, eat out, meet up with friends on other boats or living in town, and drink responsibly when operational circumstances permit. Where we can fish and hunt. Were we have a reasonably enjoyable work life.


Came up with that nonsense of no knives down here. The troops told upstairs that they were not handling any lines or boat work without a knive and the divers were going to stay in dry clothes - I think someone mentioned a glass bottomed boat.
The idea was quietly shelved.


If a person is going to be away from home 6-8 months out of the year making a living, tug-life isn’t a bad choice at all. I hope it stays that way for many years to come. Even in the GOM with GOM companies tug guys have it easier compared to GOM OSV guys IMO.


Don’t forget that all Accidents and Incidents are 100% avoidable and if you don’t drink that Kool aid then you’re not agreeing with the CULTure.


Seafarers Happiness Index is about many things, but the possibility and right to shore leave is one of the major factors, as shown in this article in Splash today:

I know, I know, this has nothing to do with GoM and Americans only, but it MAY be of value anyway.