Wellness at Sea


There is a debate in the industry about the value of restricting seafarers’ access to Porn Hub and Redtube. This is an important issue given the perception among seafarers that access to Dirty Smut is akin to a human right, but this must be balanced against cyber-security risks.


Next year’s Wellness at Sea Conference will be held in London 16th March, 2018:

Free Wellness at Sea Training is offered to seafarers that wants to participate in testing of elearning portal:


Liberty is a privilege granted by the host country, not a right. There is no ‘human right’ to enter someone else’s country without permission.


Not a Human Right maybe, but how many countries denige shore leave for seafarers visiting their ports??
Very few, but with one standing out in particular; the “land of freedom”, USA.

ITF, who represent seafarers worldwide is campaigning to ensure that all seafarers have internationally recognized ID and the right to shore leave in all ports of the world:

Marine Insight is also commenting and informing on the matter of shore leave:

Of course for US seafarers that only operate in home waters this is not an issue, except if port operators charge for access to their facilities. When they operate internationally, I’m sure they too appreciate being able to step ashore, when time permits.

Personally I’ve only been denied shore leave once. That was 50 years ago in Hung Nam, North Korea, the last time the US 7th Fleet was at their doorstep making threatening noises.


You can add Saudi Arabia to that small list where they also confiscate bibles, People magazine and anything else they choose.


Yes Saudi Arabia has a lot of restrictions on foreigners (and nationals) but do not lay claim to be the country of freedom, or human rights.

Seafarers CAN get Shore Pass however, but with a cumbersome procedure, as outlined in this Shipping Agents letter to Captains of visiting ships:

Please note that a valid Seaman’s Book is required to obtain Shore Pass, which precludes US Seafarers.

The restrictions applied in the US is a bit more complex and not easy to understand however:

I can find nothing about the number of terrorist acts or crimes committed by foreign seafarers on shore leave in US. Maybe because there haven’t been any??


That’s because we make it complex and not easy to understand for them to find ways to sneak in and bomb us.


I know, you have enough nutcases already so you don’t need any more sneaking in.

But what about law abiding seafarers that just wants to have a look at your “heaven on earth” that they have been told about, but have no hope of being part of??


I have to wonder how many Foreign Seafarers (that do get shore leave) disappear and do not make it back to the ship. I would be shocked to hear that this has never happened and I also would not be surprised to hear that a Shipping Company did not report it as I’m sure that would lead to a bunch of questions that they would rather go unanswered.

The largest problem with undocumented people *Illegal Aliens) is that many of them came here for legally and had a Visa for whatever reason but once their visa expired, they disappeared into the neverland. So, how easy would it be for someone to payoff someone to gain access to shipping papers then get Shore Leave here in the States only to walk away. All it would take is for the Captain not to report it and no one would ever know that he or she was now walking around our Country!

Now, to be fair, I’m sure that there have been cases where a U.S. Merchant Seaman disappeared on Shore Leave and missed the ship.


Lots of Americans are descendants of seafarers of different nationalities that jumped ship and eventually became good American citizens. Probably some on this forum can trace their ancestry to such persons.

Today it is harder to do so, with inward and outward clearance being a lot stricter. If a person arriving on a ship as crew is not present when that ship depart, surely the Master will have to explain why and document the reason.

Other countries are also attractive places for people from 3rd world countries to jump ship and just disappear if it was easy to do so. But they are not restricting shore leave for seafarers. Why???

I remember back in the old days (1960’s-70’s), when there were still a large number of American seafarers around, that some of them got left behind in ports in Asia. (Other nationalities too)
Japan had special prison for foreigners (in Kawasaki, as far as I remember) where they were kept until the ship were leaving Japan, or they were sent home as Supernumerary on some other ship.

Are you going to stop tourist and business visitors as well? Some of them may overstay their visa.
What about foreign students, many of whom do not want to leave at the end of their studies?

USA has a reputation for drugs, violence and gun culture. Maybe other countries should restrict shore leave for American seafarers, just in case they could possibly want to bring their dangerous culture to foreign shores?


As usual, you totally missed my point!


And your point was???

BTW: Not only foreign seafarers have problem in US ports apparently:


It is actually the least secured part of our borders. Here at the nations number 1 container port, you can sneak in at most terminals and you can easily sneak out. For now, all the coastal assets are burning tax payer dollars to run their boats for their families to look at seals napping on buoys (this is not a joke) and having on-deck BBQs. Sea travel is akin to 3rd world countries with absolutely no security measures. Port police are speeding around, docking near cafes and sipping on coffee or chasing around teenagers on skiffs.

Before engaging in dick measuring, make sure you actually have something to show, in your case, it’s just GoM uneducated and incessant blabber.



There’s public perception. Some political group drums up their base with a highly exaggerated story about ‘foreign sailers running wild threw your community.’ (Protect your loved ones from these thieves and child rapists! Donate to our political action committee to elect Joe Blow to office! Help us protect your loved ones and keep America safe!) God help the public or elected officials if a foreign seafarer does commit a crime ashore.

Best way to avoid bad press is to restrict liberty.

Then there’s the matter of liability. Seafarer is heading on liberty and is injured tripping over a pothole while in the port. Lawsuit.

Best way to avoid the liability? Don’t permit liberty to sailors foreign or domestic.

Bottom line? Foreign mariners don’t vote in our elections and don’t have lobbyists to grease the wheels for them. This makes them a liability without an upside.


It appears that there is no real reason to suspect foreign seafarers of being any treat to the safety and security of Americans, native born or otherwise.

In fact less crimes in US is committed by foreign born residents or visitors, legal or illegal, then by US born citizens:

I asked about terrorist acts and crimes committed by seafarers on shore leave earlier (Post #26) but nobody gave any reply. (except for the predictable unserious one from Fraquat)

It appears that nobody actually know. Nor how many seafarers abscond in US ports, at least from this 2011 GAO Report:

The problem could be solved if all seafarers had approved and verifiable ID Cards per ILO 185, but not everybody do, incl. US seafarer, since USA is one of the countries that haven’t ratified it.

So USA is punishing thousands of law abiding seafarers for fare that there may be a few that would disappear and join the millions of illegals already in the country.
Collective Punishment is against the 4th Geneva Convention that US has ratified, however.


No. No. No. Sigh.

There is almost zero advantage to permitting non-American mariners ashore on liberty. They come ashore, maybe spend some chump change? Maybe we earn the good will of a handful of people at the bottom of their countries’ social and economic ladder? This is worth nothing.

However there is a huge risk to permitting foreign mariners ashore in the form of political and financial liability. Remember it would only take one bad mariner - intentional malice or innocently accidental - to cause a harm that far exceeds the sum of the advantages.

This is classic risk mitigation by a risk-adverse society. It’s not ‘punishing’ anyone any more than requiring mariners to wear hard hats is punishment.

You keep personifying a simple risk-reward system into a human rights battle cry. It’s not.

Don’t take it literally. It’s a marketing slogan.


Without having to measure my dick I know I get asked for my TWIC at every dock I enter in the backward ass GOM. I also know that the “toothless inbred” security guard is watching two dozen hi def video cams in their little shack. You know how I know because I’ve been picked up in the golf cart several times trying to duck around a fence to keep from having to get from where my car is parked and where the boat is moored during crewchange. Each time I get threatened with jail time because it’s a beach if security. So I’m sorry that your modern American port where ever you work is half ass doing there job. There are docks where we can’t walk off the boat and across the yard without approval from dispatch. There again you got a 100ft from the gangway and get busted because they are constantly watching you on hi def camera.

After 26 years of going to sea in ports all over the world and not just the GOM I have plenty of educated experience. I would say most of your ramblings are incessant blather about whatever bullshit place you work. Most of the time to you just sound like a shit salesman with a mouth full of samples. So why don’t you eat a bag of dicks and chew on them slowly and try not to choke on them.


Thanks. Good sarcastic remark. Me like sarcasm, although mine is not always understood here!!

I found this article by an American seafarer who also have some sarcastic remarks about the logic of the restrictions on shore leave for foreign seafarers in USA:

BTW; there are also some of the numbers that I was missing. It show the extent of the silliness.

PS> The author of that article should be well known to most here:


This is why we can’t have nice things.