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The Captain likes his ship with the bottle
Crew Confessor
Posted: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 3:54 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94



Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 12:43 PM

I'm working for a Captain who, everynight irrespective of being at sea or alongside, views life through a bottle of vodka - all 32 shots of it!  Consequently, he takes a little while to "warm-up" in the morning and always has a vicious temper until about lunch time.  Even if we have guests onboard his routine does not change that much, except he takes only a couple of hours instead of three or four. The Mate is too weak willed to say anything to the Captain, Management Company or even the Owner, yet the Captain continues on his merry way oblivious to his actions.  I know what will happen if a junior deckkie tries to address the situation with the management company. I've been told by officers "you'll never get another job in the industry!"

If I resign, then agents will ask why:  when I tell them, they wont believe me and jobs are hard to come by for new deckkies!  Help Crew Confessor....... what should I do?

 


Henning
Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2009 4:18 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Anonymous wrote:

I'm working for a Captain who, everynight irrespective of being at sea or alongside, views life through a bottle of vodka - all 32 shots of it!  Consequently, he takes a little while to "warm-up" in the morning and always has a vicious temper until about lunch time.  Even if we have guests onboard his routine does not change that much, except he takes only a couple of hours instead of three or four. The Mate is too weak willed to say anything to the Captain, Management Company or even the Owner, yet the Captain continues on his merry way oblivious to his actions.  I know what will happen if a junior deckkie tries to address the situation with the management company. I've been told by officers "you'll never get another job in the industry!"

If I resign, then agents will ask why:  when I tell them, they wont believe me and jobs are hard to come by for new deckkies!  Help Crew Confessor....... what should I do?

Watch out for situations that can get you hurt and always make sure that any drunk order is actually possible and safe.



G. Threepwood
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 5:15 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28


Find a way to tip owner and management company off anonymously. Even more, take some pictures of the abuse if you can, such as a picture of his cabin with the bottles and perhaps a newspaper with the front page visible! Documentation is everything. If the management company is being tipped of, they will start some form of enquiries aboard. If one tells, there will be an avalanche of others that will follow suit, and the guy is done for, especially if somebody produces some hard evidence. But do remember that this captain is in need of some form of support to battle his addiction and come out on his feet, but this will be the responsibility of his employers, not the crew which he actually puts at risk every day. More over, if something happens and the guy is under the influence, the owners will pay dearly because most insurances are null and void if the "operator" or person responsible is drunk. If the senior officers aboard, ie 1st off or ch.engineer don't see that this is putting the lives of their fellow crew members and passengers at risk, they should also worry about their future sea careers, they have a duty as well as responsible for crew and ship safety. If you find that there is now way to end the substance abuse aboard, get off, get a new job and tell the others aboard that you will tip somebody off. That should get ch.eng or 1st.off of their cushy little denial scheme. Good Luck!!
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009 8:59 PM
If you are in a US Port you can just call the USCG with out saying who you are. Just say the captain is on board and he is drunk. They (the USCG) will come down and investigate and if he is drunk take him off the vessel. It's agaist the law to be on board and drunk.
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 5:16 PM
This is very tough situation. I would seriously consider finding another job quickly. You should not defame your former employer but if I were told a quick "I left the former vessel as the captain was drinking on the job" then shut up and say no more. No stories or anything else. Just that. I would understand if I were interviewing you for a position. Your life is in this morons hands. Do you understand this. He is the designated driver, the owners are the designated drinkers. I as captain am responsible for the lives and safety of my vessel and passengers and because of that I have personally gone dry. If I have to waken at 0345 to deal with a leaking boat or approaching Somali pirates I want a clearer head. The suggestion to call local law enforcement only works if your underway. I would then call and tip the cappy is toasted and have his BAL checked via blow in the machine. It's a major felony to operate a boat under the infulence. Your situation sucks but you know that.
Planet Massage & Chef Mark Lohmann
Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 5:56 PM
Joined: 23/05/2008
Posts: 11


Against the law to be on board drunk? In over twenty years of boating, I have only seen a handfull of captains and crew that hadnt been on board drunk at some point. Dont you mean it is against the law to operate the boat drunk?
Planet Massage & Chef Mark Lohmann
Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 6:00 PM
Joined: 23/05/2008
Posts: 11


My advise, find another boat if that bothers you. Ratting out the Captain never seems to work out well for the whistle blower. Chances are, the owner has seen his drunk side too and doesnt seem to mind all that much.
Jock Ferreira
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 3:39 AM
Joined: 03/06/2008
Posts: 1


You are in a position where you can either make or break your career in the boating industry. If you rat out to the USCG and have the captain arrested I can promise you that not a single Captain out there will hire you. I certainly won't. My advice to you would be to hand in a months notice stating personal reasons for leaving and get on with it. I am not condoning the captains behaviour if it is as bad as you say it is. If he puts lives and boat in danger then somebody should read him the riot act. You can also chose to be a man and confront the captain with your concerns. He will most propably fire you even if undeserved. Most captains and owners out there will respect you for your discression and you will find employement again. GOOD LUCK!
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 4:31 AM
First off I wouldn't post my picture on the internet...yachting is a small industry you don't want the Captain to have a mixer of Hater Aid and vodka...and hell hath no fury life a glofied bus driving Captain....drunk or not.

Quit! You are only running your name through the mud with being associated with some drunk ass doush bag captain...trust me I have worked with some serious douche bags and got the hell away from them.....

Good Luck and take the pic down or post anonymous....duh....WTF were you thinking?!?!?

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:05 AM

I was in the exact same situation last year!!!!! Not an easy place to be in - but my story turned out for the best! Ive been in the industry for a few years (chef), and I am still in the industry. I worked ona classic motor yacht, that got a new captain for 2008. All was great at the start - but then all the DRUGS and ALCOHOL emerged and during the season we lost about 6 different crew members as "we" didnt want to be drunk and intoxicated all the time. Luckily I couldnt get fired as I am bery close to the owners of this specific yacht. I stuck it out as the seaon was almost over. On returning home for the holidays I received an email from management saying that the boat doesnt want me back as the owners hate my food, cre crew hate my food, im a drunk blah blah blah. HA HA HA What the hell? So rumours dont take long to emerge and he panicked???? How weak!!!!! I then rounded up all the crew that got fired as witnesses and sent a MASSIVE email to management about what actually happened and who is actually to blame.

Obviously theyh took it up with him and he sent me an email saying:  "I am the best superyacht captain in the industry - I will make sure you never work agian" - ha ha , what a joke. I got off worse that time as he blamed everything on us .... after this summer season I got an email from management and the owners appologising for not beleving me as all the stories emerged and it was the exact same this year - and the entire crew quit!

So --- I am happily still in the industry ona  fantastic yacht with a wonderfull captain, and captain drunk's ass has been fired!!!!!!!!! Hooray


Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:39 AM
I reckon,you might consider getting out of the marine industry,if and when you get on another vessel,you will end up with a, a nazi b,alcoholic captain,c,nazi alcoholic captain with a passion for cheap cocaine and hookers,d, all of the above
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:45 AM
PS JUST CALL THE USCG OR 911 THAT SHOULD REALLY PISS HIM OFF
Martry
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 12:12 PM
Joined: 15/08/2009
Posts: 8


To all you anonymous hero´s out there.
I abhore captains and crew that operate vessels under the influence of any substance. There is no need for it, and the risks involved can be life changing to all involved, including innocent third parties.
However, grow a pair of balls, and stand behind your snipes and comments. No one can, or should  take you soft cocks seriously.
I have 22 years in this industry, and you are the type of  back stabbing, whining character that has helped in the decline of the crew quality over the recent years. AKA backpacker seaman! I hope I have the pleasure of firing your arse one day.
Well done Henning for making a stand like a man. I hope it works out for you.
Regards
Marty

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 24, 2009 6:44 PM
I was working for drunk captain on my first boat... I hated it, I felt it was not only wrong but also dangerous. I am not the kind of guy to sit there and let it happen, so I made it my mission to get him out of the business. It took 6 months but I got what I wanted, he never worked on a yacht again, no more putting crew and guests lives at risk. The other option is to quit. Over the years I have had the situation again and I would just resign as soon as I found out the captain liked the bottle. I have made it to the top now and operate with a strict no drinking policy while at sea or with guests and no spirits on the boat no matter what... Crew want to get on it, they can go out to town.
El Velcro
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 12:22 AM
Joined: 19/03/2009
Posts: 17


When I was Captain, I never drank or took liberties or drugs when working and Planet Massage & Chef Mark Lohmann, you should be ashamed of yourself, almost bigging up the drunks and half assed morons that pretend to be 'Captains' of their vessels when you should be more responsible as your obvious experience should show. Or are you all mouth and trousers? God, you all make me so CROSS! Get on the phone and call the USCG. Don't mess around, lives could be at stake. And it's ADVICE, not advise.
Cap'n C
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 1:12 PM
Joined: 29/04/2009
Posts: 38


Seems to be a bad fix you're in. First off the loyalty issue with your boss; it is a false sense of loyalty towards any workmate with a drinking problem, if it is not addressed. You are actually doing the person in question a disfavor, because there is still time to correct the situation before he destroys his career completely (remember he is responsible for his own actions/career, not you, he will be outed sooner or later, by you, somebody else or a port state control or an accident inquiry). Secondly, the loyalty issue towards your workmates; they are needlessly put in danger every time the lines are slipped and this guy is in charge. Thirdly the loyalty issue towards your employer/owner/company; most ships/companies have express rules and regs about substance abuse, and an express rule/reg to report breaches of policy, this iot comply with IMO/ILO/national legislation. With your knowledge of the situation (and probably several of your workmates), you can be held accountable for not reporting. And lastly the loyalty issue towards your good self; damned if you do, damned if you don't! Find a way to alert the the safety and environment committee aboard, anonimously if so desired, if no such thing exists, to the appointed hseq rep aboard or designated shore sso for the company. If there are no such things put in place, your vessel is operating outside the law completely and chances are that with any port state control the vessel will be reported or even impounded until it complies with int. legislation. Most flagstates have a limit similar to dui, 02-05 when carrying passengers. If you do decide to jump ship, you have to do battle with your own consience, leaving your shipmates in the lurch. My advice would be to discuss this issue formally but discreetly with 1st Off or Cheng. You have done your part, leaving the responsability to go forward with those who are ultimately in charge of the situation onboard. And I wouldn't worry to much about getting a rap for being a troublemaker in the biz, because ultimately companies and owners can not afford to turn a blind eye to. The worring bit would be other bosses with similar issues, but then again you have stated that you dislike working for such characters so in the end you are better off. Fair winds and following seas!!


G. Threepwood
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:57 PM
Joined: 31/07/2009
Posts: 28


Rat him out!! Do not take chef Lohman seriously, to much time working pots and pans on the sauce, little knowledge of legal/license issues. Of course it's illegal to operate a +24m vessel when drunk, very illegal, it qualifies for jail time, criminal conduct, fine and hard time in the slammer in most flag states. It's an absolute no no! In ye old days you could get away with it, but times have changed. Driving a ship and drinking is not for any licensed master or officer, especially when carrying paying passengers.
Crew Confessor
Posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 6:04 PM
Joined: 20/11/2008
Posts: 94


Dear Dry Deckie,

First and foremost, are you certain of your facts?  Most well practiced, serious alcoholics are canny enough to be  discreet with their vices, especially around junior crew members who traditionally lack the sort of inevitable informality that exists between long term ship mates.  I would very carefully examine how you came to your conclusions.  A few drinks at the end of the day is one thing, but an entire bottle of vodka is another.  How is it that you have drawn your conclusions.  Do you physically witness him emptying a fifth a day down his throat?  See the empty vodka bottles in his personal rubbish bin? 

And by the way there are about 17 regular size (1.5 oz)  in a standard size (750 ml) bottle of vodka.  Since you are new to this yacht there are many ways that misunderstandings can occur.  Believe it or not some yachts use cheap vodka for cleaning mirrors and glass because it is cheaper, "greener," and works better than many other products.

You are making very serious accusations, accusations that have the potential for ruining a person's life.  You should be absolutely certain that you are not mistaken. 

If your captain is indeed a serious drinker, putting the lives of his crew and owners/guests in danger, not to mention imperiling innocents then surely you must act.

Sadly this is not an unusual problem in this industry, though few captains that I'm aware of swig vodka while underway, there is no shortage of captains and crew with alcohol issues.  That this is a major problem is not up for argument.  What your actions should be in relation to the problem is. 

I suggest a confidential meeting with your senior crew mates.  A frank discussion of what you have personally observed and the jeopardy your captain is placing you all in.  There is surely a wealth of facts (well mostly) presented by your fellow yachties all over the world, in an effort to help you out.
It may well be necessary to take formal action such as suggested by Cap N'C in his excellent response.

 First off the loyalty issue with your boss; it is a false sense of loyalty towards any workmate with a drinking problem, if it is not addressed. You are actually doing the person in question a disfavor, because there is still time to correct the situation before he destroys his career completely (remember he is responsible for his own actions/career, not you, he will be outed sooner or later, by you, somebody else or a port state control or an accident inquiry). Secondly, the loyalty issue towards your workmates; they are needlessly put in danger every time the lines are slipped and this guy is in charge. Thirdly the loyalty issue towards your employer/owner/company; most ships/companies have express rules and regs about substance abuse, and an express rule/reg to report breaches of policy, this iot comply with IMO/ILO/national legislation. With your knowledge of the situation (and probably several of your workmates), you can be held accountable for not reporting.

Finally it may well be that your perceptions are not accurate, that the captain does not drink underway but enjoys cocktails in the evening.  It may well be that you are simply not comfortable in an environment where alcohol is consumed.  You might be better suited on a yacht that is run as a "dry" boat. 

Whatever the outcome I hope that you will keep us informed and tell us how things go.

And for everyone else out there, New Years Eve festivities are nearly upon us and I would like everyone to remember to drink responsibly.  Never drive a car or operate a boat while under the influence and be especially careful with tenders. 

Happy New Year to All!

Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, December 31, 2009 4:51 AM
Happy Holidays to you too Crew Confessor. I speak but only for myself and wish to thank you for your careful answers to the sometimes complicated issues of living and working with each other on these stunning yachts we are so lucky to be aboard. Cheers Crew Confessor!
Anonymous
Posted: Sunday, August 1, 2010 10:22 PM
Tell the owners !!! Ive just told the owners son about my Captain and his wife's drunkedness onboard every night aswell as everything else they do thats not allowed. They are in for the surprize of a life time, and they will get what they deserve for abusing the owners boat as if it were their own ! Owners need to know whats happening on their boats regarding, alcohol, drugs, money spent incorrectly to supplement captains lifestyle and friends being entertained onboard continously.
 
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