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Is it acceptable for crew to punch other crew?
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 6:37 PM
Joined: 22/01/2009
Posts: 2

I work on a boat where this behaviour is accepted. To fill you in two crew members, a male and a female had a big argument. Lots of outside factors created the situation most notably their dislike to one and other, some alcohol and a stressful few days work. However the male decided that to finish the arguement he was going to push the female in the water (from a tender at night). Then punch her twice in the face. Captains response was to try and sort everything out, back to like it used to be. In other words lets all play happy families again shall we? Nobody lost their job. It seems that on my boat the captains level of tolerance is very high for this type of violence. I wanted to get people's view's and any other stories that are similar...... hopefully their are none the same..
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:13 PM
Joined: 13/11/2008
Posts: 19

I would like to say that I find it hard to believe that this sort of reprehensible behavior is tolerated on boats, but I've seen and heard of enough bad behavior (captain and crew alike) that this sort of scenario sounds all too familiar. Perhaps the captain tolerates this behavior because it's easier to do that than go to the effort of finding and retraining crew. Fear of the unknown is always a powerful catalyst to indecision. Most captains will tell you that driving the boat is the easy part, that the hardest part of the job is dealing with crew. Why then are there no mandatory classes about Management in the ladder up to captaincy? And not just for captains but any crew member in a position of leadership? Or are there such classes but with the cost and time given to the classes required for the licenses are these just going overlooked? I have heard of a few industry veterans starting to get tough with owners and the nightmarish behavior many a crew write articles about, but is it time for industry veterans to start getting tough on crew and the type of behavior that makes owners not give a sh*t about the crew and turn away from yacht ownership altogether?
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:30 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

That depends. Generally yacht brawling is only permitted off watch. What type of punches are we talking about ? The only punches written into our crew contracts are straight rights, jabs , left hooks and the Bolo punch. A sequence like a left jab, followed by a straight right, followed by a left hook is a traditional STCW crew moral building exercise . I assume this was bare knuckle fighting ? Brass knuckles are against our Flag State rules. Was the punch above the belt ? What scoring system does the Captain use ?
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 7:31 PM
Joined: 18/06/2010
Posts: 8

Help the lady! The dude is baaaad
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:24 PM
Wow, dont know the circumstances, maybe she is a female dog, cant say...can say that behaviour towards woman is never acceptable, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.PERIOD. The other males on the boat should have stepped in and the offender immediately removed from the vessel. Throwing someone from a tender at night is a completely separate issue. I would fire a crew member for that alone. Liability, injury risks too high. The team will never recover from this and crew dynamic is now doomed for everyone. Feel that uncomfortable silence in the crew mess, if the female even shows up to eat at all. If this kind of behaviour is tolerated by the captain, I , not even being involved, would start to look for another boat just out of the lack of respect i would gain for the captain and the offending crew. I have witnessed crew violence before and both times the person who threw first were fired(great workers as well), but violence has no place on a yacht. Hard work is only part of the job.
Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010 5:25 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

Fights are going to happen. Responsible crew take it up on the beach. If you take it up on the boat or the boat's property, you have disrespected me, the captain, and depending on the circumstances (sounds like they had a mutual dislike for each other) I will have to fire one or both as this is totally unacceptable. For those inclined to lose their tempers note: When I fire you for fighting, you do not get repatriation funds and I do not have to "Pay you off" the vessel. You have to find your own way home and I have until the next pay period to pay you your final wages.

Considering the history of behavior you cite, I fault the captain for letting it get to this point.

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 10:19 AM
Absolutely acceptable behaviour, totally normal. So is drinking on the job, smoking crack in the crew mess, raping a steward(ess) and stealing the petty cash. Can't believe you even bothered to ask! Please refer to MSN 101, or your crew agreement/ toilet paper.
Capt Kaj
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 8:35 PM
Joined: 05/08/2008
Posts: 83

There are 2 problems here, firstly the 2 arguing crew, god knows who is right or wrong, maybe the girl was asking for it maybe she was winding the guy up, but no excuse to hit her, on or off the yacht.

Secondly the useless Captain who sounds like he has let it roll off his shoulders. I´d get rid of all 3. He obviously hasn´t done his duty and confronted both crew and sorted it out properly, otherwise they would be gone. I don´t care what anyone says, it is his full responsibility and because he knows fully what has gone on, then he has no excuse if the guy really does knock the block off the girl. Imagine how he would feel then.

Diary the events in your own diary, if the Captain did his job properly, the event should have been officially logged, it is quite clear in the Flag State rules. But because he is ball-less he probably didn´t. I´d quietly look for another yacht in the meantime.

And to Anonymous from the 25th June, you deserve to work on the above yacht.

Capt Kaj

Miki Brettschneider
Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010 9:47 PM
Joined: 14/05/2008
Posts: 12

I would definatly use the Trump famous words "YOUR FIRED!!!!" for the guy hitting the girl,and the captain for turning his back on a bad situation.Fighting should never be a normal situation.
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 1:57 AM
If I was the owner that yacht I would fire both the guy and maybe the girl....I would then report the guy who punched the girl to the local authorities....the captain should also be fired for allowing whatever the situation was in the first place to develop this far.

My $.02


Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 6:09 AM
Why the comment about the Australians? Reason I ask, is the only Australian I've had as crew was an Engineer who also had VERY violent tendencies and a seriously aggressive outlook on everyone, including the owner.

We don't know the full story, especially concerning the Captain, but it certainly sounds like somebody should have been walking off the boat with their bags. I once had a crew member whom wanted me to fire a chef as she was apparently taking drugs. I had no evidence and when she said she could present evidence of drug taking she did not. This made me clearly suspicious and I thus kept a close eye on both of them. As it happens I had to fire the chef after she vanished mid charter leaving guests minus any breakfast, but I never did find any evidence of drug taking, even in her behaviour. So perhaps the Captain has no substantiated evidence of events?

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 6:46 AM
To continue on the Aussie thread, actually, I too thought, "I wonder if they are Australian" when I first read the forum posting. This came purely out off personal experience with former Australian colleagues.

I recently watched a great surf documentary called Bustin down the door, a film about the birth of Pro Surfing in the 70's and how a group of Aussie surfers were pivotal in this evolution. There was an interesting interview with one of the Aussie guys in which he talked about Aussie culture and their tendency towards a brash, arrogant and aggressive mind set. He acknowledge these to be  typical 'values' of their upbringing.

My 0.03 cents worth.

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:04 AM
I experienced fighting between crew once in a while between crew on my yacht especially when they've been out for a few drinks during their off time. It is a difficult situation to handle as a Captain because firstly it happens normally in crews' private time off. I recently dismissed a crew member for starting a fist fight in a pub. He had a history of agression and normally you find the crew that expose themselves to fist fighting perform poor onboard, whatever their position is. I think Captains have to take a strong stand against crew that misbehave because it affects the captains name as well as the yacht reputation
Meesa Egypt
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 7:27 AM

I remember when was working at sea if there is fighting argument only by shouting

Captain make invsetigation for both of them and there is warning letters to be inserted

in their file and also to sent to the yacht management company , and also crew management

if the fighting is by hands then captain will fire one of them or both after investigation .

but if he did not do it then expect it will happen again and again , i think captain personlity

is very weak to punish crew who are fighting together , the company who run the yacht

must know about this because it could affect behavior of crew when yacht owners onboard .


Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 9:41 AM

[deleted by moderator]

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 11:17 AM
Joined: 31/03/2010
Posts: 1

Any form of physical aggression is unacceptable. As pointed out, a lead up to this was noted and should have been dealt with at that point. People living and working in close proximity heightens tensions and it it is the responsability of the captain and first mate to pasify these types of situations before they get out of hand, as this did.
There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Not knowing the situation and cause of the conflict I can not give judgment but suffice to say one if not both would be given a one way ticket.

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 11:22 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026

Great History lesson Professor Anonymous !!!!! I understand everything about cultural differences found in the yachting industry . I guess this means that the reason Americans are coveted as docile , 5 star, yacht janitorial staff is because they are the descendants of indentured servants ?
Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 3:46 PM
Joined: 09/06/2010
Posts: 1

All three should be fired, and we all know why. Is there a job available?

Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 11:46 PM
Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010 12:01 AM

I would like to suggest, as a stewardess who has unbelievably been punched before for the first and only time on a yacht, that firing is not always the solution. I long to work for a Captain or any employer for that matter who sits down both parties and discusses situations so that everyone can hopefully learn from and gain wisdom from good or bad situations, provided they are willing to listen and have good work ethics to begin with. I believe that all people are human, they make mistakes and should be encouraged to forgive and forget. I forgave the deckhand who punched me immediately, claiming that I must have really wound him up to have got such a reaction. However, he couldn't forgive himself and took it out on me further. It would have been great if the Captain had stepped in and mediated. I know we are not children but sometimes it is good to talk things out and have someone steer the conversation, especially seeing as the deckhand and I really did get along anyway, we just had a bad day...

Posted: Sunday, June 27, 2010 7:11 PM
Joined: 22/01/2009
Posts: 2

In response to a few questions way up it was fists to the face. Also the female was english and the male Kiwi.... I guess its near Australia at least!
Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 11:02 AM
Joined: 17/06/2010
Posts: 1

at least one person needs to leave.

when 2 people fight , (and not one of them has the maturity to back away and take it to the captain in the morning.) , then they both need to go.

I also have absolutely no time for a man punching / slapping a woman.

however , if a woman has the 'balls' to punch/taunt and not respect a person's space.. I'm not sure how I would react.

It is fairly common that a quick jump in the swimming pool or sea will cool a drunk person down and aid sobriety ,
but yeah , pushed in the sea = aggression = at least one person has to go.

ah yes... boats...

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 2:04 AM
It all depends on the Master of the vessel. Most vessels I've been on won't tolerate this sort of behavior. It gives not only the parties involved a bad name, but reflects upon the rest of the crew, including the superiors. I knew a crew member who went to a club in West Palm Beach and stated to speak with an acquaintance. After a short bit a deckhand named Justin, off a vessel named Baccarella, who appeared to be in his normal form of belligerence, ran up to this crew member, head butted him splitting his forehead wide open and then ran off. I told the crew member to get the assailant arrested, but he decided against it because he didn't want to draw extra attention to the vessel. I caught up with this crew member a couple days later and asked him how everything turned out. He told me he spoke with one of the officers who had spoken with the Captain. The outcome was as long as Justin, the deckhand, was appologetic he could keep his position aboard the vessel.
Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 2:59 PM
Joined: 25/03/2009
Posts: 15

I'd never put up with that, and find it a hazard not only to the other crew but the vessel itself! So much for hiring crew based on looks, right? I guess preppy looking yachtie douches can turn out to be losers more that someone with tats, long hair, etc, who is professional 100% of the time..but now that I dont crew anymore seeing how i started my own land based operation, I love to come here and laugh at all the spoiled brat cry baby stories! LOL
Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 3:46 PM
Joined: 26/07/2008
Posts: 1

The Captain is responsible for the tone set aboard his/her vessel.  Obviously the tone has been unacceptable to most normal human beings.  I am sure there is more to the story than what was written but taking it as it was written they both should be fired.  The crew member that punched the other should have been arrested. The Captain should be reviewed, repremanded, or relieved depending on his past history and explnation.  The author should quit and look for another job if this did not happen. 

Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 4:27 PM

Have they slept together?  Maybe they should !!!  closed them in a cabin for a day or two  

after all this is "pleasure industry" ...


Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 5:29 PM
In response to story of Justin the Deckhand.... if and when these violent people get re-employed i wonder if their new boat and respective crew agencies know about their fist wheeling/head butting past?? Maybe there is a need for an independent yacht crew black list? Names, details of person, reasons for person being listed... a photo?? Just a thought!?
Posted: Thursday, July 1, 2010 2:14 PM
Joined: 30/06/2010
Posts: 4

I grew up in the industry. Back in the 80's I could see two guys duke it out for pecking order, but today there is not room for this type of Liability. Not to mention there are ALOT of people out there without employment. Sounds to me Like the Kiwi mate has a picture of the captain with his sheep!! Any dud that hits a girl, any female is a looser and should be deported back to his girlfriends, sheep. whatever. Repatriate the worthless sob that's what I say, he will only be trouble in the future. What ever you do don't let him free in my state , Florida, and expect us to let him hit our daughters, he'll wind up gator food @ here.
 Average 4 out of 5