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Crew Liability on Yacht Deliveries
Sailswish
Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011 7:20 PM
Joined: 06/03/2011
Posts: 5


I have not found very much information out there regarding my liability as crew and performing my duties during a delivery transit. If I'm added to the insurance policy and run aground during my watch and cause damage. Or the infinite number of incidents that can happen. Will I be liable?
junior
Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011 8:44 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Huh ? Hmmm..Lets see..... if your the type who needs ... "careful this coffee is hot " , " objects may appear closer ", " dont eat the yellow snow" or " this superman outfit will not fly" product liabilty warnings , you probably should stay on the autoroute , chase ambulances and keep away from the sea. If youre worried about REAL BIG mistakes , no need to think liability. ..... Think worse case scenario since either myself or the other crew will clarify your liabilty on the spot. Perhaps top up your life insurance policy before working on boats.
Sailswish
Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 8:27 PM
Joined: 06/03/2011
Posts: 5


Didn't need the smartass answer, just practical advice. I've done many deliveries without incident as 1st Mate. I went to an admiralty law seminar that scared the crap out of me. Essentially, after calling the CG, you call your lawyer. Is MOPS insurance something that people get for liability? I have assets I want to protect.
Sailswish
Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 8:53 PM
Joined: 06/03/2011
Posts: 5


One of the pieces of advice given in this seminar is never be a Jones Act employer. Always have the owner pay the crew directly so you, the captain are not liable for maintenance and cure if someone gets injured. Making yourself an S Corp or LLC to protect your assets also made a lot of sense.
CaptErik
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 7:16 PM
Joined: 09/09/2008
Posts: 62


If you are talking to lawyers, and taking classes on this subject and are worried about causing an accident on your watch, I suggest that you get a shoreside job. Before you reply, I don't need an answer like this,  YOU DO! You take on the responsability becouse you are qualified, trained, experienced and believe that you can get the people and crew somewhere safely. You obviosly do not have that confidence, for whatever reason. Either get more experience with people that do, before you take the next step, or just get a shore side job.
spencer
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 8:25 PM
Joined: 24/11/2010
Posts: 3


Dear Sailwish, Feel free to call me, I am an insurance agent insuring yachts for over 20 years. There are no stupid questions, just knuckle head emailers that are bold & brazen behind the monitor. 561 273 2311 Spencer
Sailswish
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 8:49 PM
Joined: 06/03/2011
Posts: 5


So I guess none of you captains carry liability insurance on your cars? What if you're on night watch heading from Miami to the Keys and you snag one of the thousands of lobster floats out there. The boat comes to a sudden stop and a crewmember down below hits his head on the bulkhead and gets injured? I'm confident in my abilities at sea. Get a shoreside job is a cop out answer. My wife's grandparents had a nurse that got hit by a car crossing the street on her way to their house. She broke her leg. In addition to suing the driver, she sued the grandparents since she wouldn't have been in that spot unless she was going to work. Pain in the ass and cost $3K to some lawyer to make that bogus case go away.
James Ward
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 9:04 PM
Joined: 15/10/2008
Posts: 15


I think you are refering to several cases where the insurance companies have sought restitution from the captain in the event of implied negligence. In the other cases where enviromental damage occurs or loss of life, various other entities will come after you --- sometimes a government (enviromental) sometimes a civil court ( unlawful death suit) I am not really sure that additional insurance will cover you if the cause of an accident is negligence and I doubt there is the expertise on this forum to give you the advice you seek. If you are really concerned you will have to pay the fee and talk with a maritime lawyer. Apart from that, don't run aground on someones favourite reef and don't kill anybody. ---- Say I with fingers crossed and touching wood !!!!
chrismlewis
Posted: Friday, March 11, 2011 11:00 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 118


Unfortunately we do all have to worry about law suits and lawyers these days. My understanding is that the liabilities arising from incidents on board are covered by the Owners P&I policy. Make sure it is valid! I should say that I have little knowledge of US law, so the situation could be completely different on US flagged boats. Of course it will be a pre-requisite that you are covering your duty of care obligations and also that ignorance is never an excuse (so you must be able to demonstrate that you are keeping up to date with new M-Notices, Flag notices etc), but in general you should not worry about personal liabilities if you are competant and carrying out your duties diligently (and logging the fact!). I have seen contracts (and refused to sign them - m/y Big Change II was the last one) that require the employee to cover the liabilities of the yacht owner. Errr NO! These liabilities are the Owners and seriously, what is the point in chasing a crew member for the cost of an oil spill clean up! Anyway, crew members are very well protected by international law, but it certainly would be helpful to have the lawyers bills covered by someone like Nautilus. http://www.nautilusint.org/default.aspx No affiliation accept that I have been a member for the last 18 years...
Sailswish
Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2011 2:18 AM
Joined: 06/03/2011
Posts: 5


Thank you. Now we are getting intelligent answers to my query.
Jeff Wyckoff
Posted: Saturday, March 12, 2011 3:29 PM
Joined: 19/09/2008
Posts: 1


[Comment removed by moderator]
DavidGunn
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:17 AM
Joined: 16/10/2008
Posts: 3


Hey there Junior, I periodically have been checking these forums for the last few years & every time I see your comments come up, they tend to be criticizing. [Comment removed by moderator]. I've run both power & sail boats & so am familiar with both & have no need to judge anybody, particularly people I don't know who are just trying to ask innocent questions! Try being professional in your comments. [Comment removed by moderator].

DavidGunn
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:13 AM
Joined: 16/10/2008
Posts: 3


[Removed by moderator]

 
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