Time aboard exceeds 6 months articles while the ship is at sea

Not trying to break articles but just have a couple of questions as it becomes more likely that I will complete 6 months and be able to walk off with no relief.

So my first question is that if it is well known that we will be at sea when my stay exceeds six calendar months is the captain obligated to let me off before we depart? I ask this because the Articles clearly say cannot exceed six months and do not give any circumstances in which this can be broken.

Another question I have is that the company still has to pay my way correct? The way I see it I’ve completed my contract, but people are trying to tell me otherwise.

Any other information or advice about getting off on articles would be greatly appreciated.

If you are at sea and are going to a US port next your fine. Once you hit a US port you automatically break articles and are able to leave (assuming the vessel is not going to be completely abandoned or in danger by your departure). Just give 24 hours notice and quit with or without a relief. However if you are overseas it’s a little more tricky. Since your articles expired you can’t get in trouble for breaking articles and “abandoning a vessel”. You would not get arrested, fined, etc. The company and Captain will try to make you try to sign articles again or extend them. DO NOT SIGN, refuse to. Articles are like indentured servitude. The company should find and fly you out a relief and fly you back at their cost. If you are in a country with COVID entry restrictions you might have to stay until you hit a country without travel restrictions. Just remember you fulfilled your articles / time and have done nothing wrong don’t let people pressure you in staying on. That’s when people get hurt. You are most likely part of a Union if sailing deep sea so call the Union for help. MM&P and MEBA have experience in dealing with these situations and have a stronger voice then you alone. Just give them a heads up as to what’s going on. I haven’t sailed AMO but they should also be well versed and have representatives to handle these situations.

Thanks for the info, i appreciate the reply. I’m currently a MEBA applicant sailing on a MMP contract (worst mistake I ever made). The ship goes between Singapore and Diego Garcia, and I’ll hit six months maybe a couple days after we depart Diego, so I hope they’ll be decent and let me off in Diego. But like you said as long as I don’t sign the articles again I believe they have to let me off in Diego. I’ll contact my Union and see what they have to say. Thanks

May I ask what your original dispatch was for? Most MM&P rotary contracts are for 120 days and I believe most MEBA contracts are for 90. If you have been there for 180 days and no relief has been called, the union will want to know that. If a relief has been called and no relief can be found and your articles expire, you should have every right to get off that ship. It sounds like you are going to be making another voyage to Singapore though.

Sorry for your rough go on shipping foreign though. I don’t know the company or situation but most ships do not operate in this manner. Neither of those unions should either. Also remember that even though you are an applicant, you have every right to the union’s backing.

Good luck

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When I took the job off the board it said 90 days, then I got on the ship they told me 120 days but I didn’t mind so I didn’t complain. They called my job but there’s just so many open jobs on the board and no one to fill them these days so I haven’t been able to get a relief. The ship is SLNC Corsica

You’ll come off that thing a group 2 member lol

Would you mind elaborating on how this is worse than a straight MEBA contract? It seems like there are always passthrough jobs on the open board (for obvious reasons).

SLNC and Grand River Navigation jobs are MM&P top to bottom (deck and engine). They are very low paying compared to the MEBA contracted companies. Additionally Grand River does not contribute to the pension plan. That is why Grand River and companies like the Seacor (which also doesn’t currently contribute) can never fill their billets and sail or get people reliefs. For the SLNC Corsica I heard that vessel’s engine room is in really bad shape and they can’t get anyone on her. Combined with low wages it’s not the place to be at all.

I suppose I’m probably just a little disgruntled, I’m sure there are good MMP engineer contracts out there. But as far as the Corsica, this is rock bottom. I could start another forum on the bs that goes on this ship, but to keep it short, let’s just say that a Chinese ship and a low paid **incompetent ** crew do not mix well.

It is probably not a popular opinion, but being someone who started out on dodgy contract ships myself, you will be a better officer in the long run because of the experience. Seeing how messed up things are done in one place and knowing they can be done better will solidify your resolve to never work like that in the future. I have learned more from watching people do this job poorly than from those who do it well.


I absolutely agree. I have learned a lot from this ship and seen shit that wouldn’t have happened on other vessels. I don’t wanna talk a lot of shit on a public forum but it’s not the ship that’s the problem, it’s the crew, and when the third or second is pulling their hair out trying to explain basic engineering to the chief or first for months on end, it makes a person go insane.

Does that one actually carry 4 engineers or is it an every other night duty situation

I can probably guess the answer to this but… Is the company at least willing to send parts and/or pay the OT to get things back in order?

Because if not, you could have the world’s best engineers and it wouldn’t do any good.

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