RSS Feed Print
Broken Bones!
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 3:05 AM
Joined: 03/07/2013
Posts: 2

Just after starting a new position on a M/Y as a deck/stew I asked the captain if I got health insurance. He said no, since I was only there for the season. 3 weeks later I broke my fingers after a loose hatch fell on them. Should the owner pay for my injuries? As of now looks like I can't work until next season 
Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 9:29 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56

Morally: Yes     Legally: Most probably Yes. 

With further details we could advise you better; such as approximate size of yacht, nationality of the yacht, whether it is commercially registered, what sort of contract you had, did you sign the articles and/or a seagoing employment agreement. Some yachts skirt around the edge of the law and employ Captains (Unlimited & 3000gt/500gt) who seem to be ignorant of the applicable employment laws or just simply believe they can get away with ignoring them. Most of the time it's hard to find a jurisdiction to fight your corner. 

Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 4:58 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 342

Your experience lies at the root of the many apparently inane laws that appear to be in place for no other reason than to make shipowners lives miserable. as long as there are  ignorant captains who believe they are serving their owners by risking the health, livelihood, and financial stability of crewmembers, there will be a place for attorneys who will make every effort to ensure they and the vessel owner will pay dearly for their actions.


If Floridastew means that you are American, or the injury occurred in US waters, I strongly suggest you contact a Jones Act attorney to find out exactly what remedies are available to you. Don't be swayed by those who will say that you will risk your future in the industry or will contribute to the rampant prejudice that applies to American mariners. You were injured on the job, the boat has (or it better have or the captain and owner are really in for an experience) and you are entitled to medical care and compensation. If the hatch in question was damaged or not properly secured, go for the captain's jugular. We don't need his ilk in this business. Crew are at risk from people like that and owners are at tremendous financial risk.


Do your part to purge the yacht industry of pretenders and protect your own future well being at the same time.


I don't know these folks from Adam, and have no interest in who you contact but here is a place to start - it won't cost you  a penny and a phone call may open your eyes:



Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 11:02 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 134

Any red flag boat then yes for sure. It makes no difference to the crew member if medical insurance is taken out by the boat - the boat is liable for all medical expenses that "cannot reasonably be put off". No grey area, no deductible. 

Health insurance benefits the Owner and the crew and is required by all the P&I policies that i have seen recently which will be why most boats have it. However, I reiterate that it makes no difference to the fact that the boat is responsible for your costs and your salary while out (for a limited amount of time).

Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 7:21 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1064

You are owed maintenance and cure, if this has not been offered already, you'll likely need a lawyer.