MASTER AND CREW Q: Two hour before sailing you found 3/E is not on board, as Master what action would you take ?



Q: Two hour before sailing you found 3/E is not on board, as Master what action would you take ?

A: As Master, must ensure that the ship does not proceed to sea unless there is on board a valid Safe manning document and manning of the ship complies with it. There is no provisions for sailing short-handed.

If a 3/E is listed on the SMD, I would not sail until a replacement was found. I would sign the 3/E off is his absence and leave his gear with the agent.

Notify local proper officer, owner and make an OLB entry.

Q: What is the most serious offences under the Merchant Navy Code of Conduct? Or dismissal offence?

A: Dismissal offence:

There are: 1) assault

  • Wilful damage to the ship or Property on board.
  • Theft, or possession of stolen property
  • Possession of offensive weapons
  • Persistent or wilful failure to perform duty
  • Unlawful possession or distribution on drugs
  • Conduct endangering the ship or person on board
  • Combination with others to impede the progress of the voyage or the navigation of the ship
  • Disobedience of orders relating to the safety of the ship or of any person on board
  • Being asleep on duty or failing to remain on duty if this prejudiced the of the ship or any person on board
  • Incapacity through drink or drug to carry out duty to the prejudice of safety of the ship or of any person on board
  • To smoke, use a naked light or unapproved electric torch in any part of a ship carrying dangerous cargo or stores where smoking or the use of naked light or unapproved troches is prohibited
  • Intimidation, Coercion and / or interference with the work of other employees
  • Behaviour seriously detracting from the safe and/or efficient working of the ship
  • Conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work which is unwanted, unreasonable and offensive to the recipient
  • Behaviour seriously detracting from the social well-being of any other person on board
  • Causing or allowing unauthorised persons to be on board whilst at sea
  • Repeated commission of lesser breaches after warnings have been given.

Q: What are the lesser offences?

A: 1) Not justifying dismissal in the particular case

  • Minor act of negligence, neglect of duty, disobedience and assault
  • Unsatisfactory work performance
  • Poor time keeping
  • Stopping work before the authorised time
  • Failure to report to work without satisfactory reason
  • Absence from the place of duty or from the ship without leave
  • Offensive or disorderly behaviour. Some companies add breaches related to special trading patterns, etc.

Q: How would you deal with an alleged serious breach of the code of conduct that was referred to you?

A: I would deal with it as soon as possible , and in person. I would first convene a formal hearing in my office, with accuser and accused present. I would tell the seafarer that he may be accompanied by a friend who can advise him and speak on his behalf (like a solicitor or counsel in court), and that he (or his fiend) may call any witnesses he chooses and question them on their evidence. When ready to start, I would inform the seafarer of the alleged breach (referring to the particular paragraph and sub-paragraph of the Code of Conduct) and ask him if he admits or denies the allegation. (If he admitted it, there would be no need for any evidence to be called, except in mitigation, or for cross-examination.) I would tell the seafarer he may make any statement he wishes in answer to the alleged breach, including comments on evidence produce against him. I would hear all the evidence (against and for the seafarer) and any cross-examination of the evidence. Then, after considering the evidence, I would orally inform the seafarer whether or not I found that he had committed the alleged breach. If I did so find, I would impose a sanction with I considered reasonable in all the circumstances, taking in to account his record on the ship and any other relevant factors.

Q: What sanctions may you (as master) impose under the Code of Conduct, if you find a seafarer guilty of a breach of the Code?

A: 1) A formal (oral) warning record in the OLB

  • A written reprimand, also recorded in the OLB, or
  • Dismissal from the ship, either immediately (if in a UK or overseas port), or at the next port.

Q: In what circumstances could you arrange for the dismissal of a seafarer and his repatriation to the UK from an overseas port of call?

A: If I found (after a properly conducted hearing) that he had breached of code conduct and I decided that his continued presence on board would be detrimental to the efficient and safe running of the ship or to the maintenance of the ship or to the maintenance of harmonious personal relations on board.

Q: What precautions would you take when holding a hearing of a disciplinary case, to protect the employer’s legal position ?

A: I would ensure, especially where dismissal was my chosen sanction, that the hearing was conducted exactly as laid down in the in the code of conduct, i.e. in accordance with the principles of natural justice. I would ensure that I made a formally-announced finding that the seafarer had committed a serious breach of code of conduct and that the man was given copies of all the statements made in the OLB, and that he signed acknowledging receipt of them.

Q: What would you write in the official log book concerning a disciplinary case ?

A: Full detail of alleged breach and the action taken by me in response to it.

Q: What document(s) should an accused seafarer be given

A: A copy of every OLB entry relating to his case and it has to be acknowledge receipt by signing.

Q: What action would you take if a seaman, who appeared to be drunk, complained to you about the food at 2100hrs, while you were watching a video?

A: Ensure the safety of ship, personnel and the seaman himself, if necessary. Find out when he is next on watch (at 2400h). Sober him up - until then he’s potential liability to others. Discipline him he’s sober, if necessary. His complain may be genuine, but I have no duties to investigate unless there are 3 or more complainants. Make OLB entry.

Q: What action would you take regarding a seaman who was drunk onboard while on duty ?

A: Ensure safety of the ship, personnel and the seaman himself. Remove him from duty and substitute another. Sober him up. Discipline him in accordance with the code of conduct, if practicable . (was he drunk enough to jeopardise safety and personnel ?) The offence may justify dismissal.

Q: What action would you take regarding a seaman who was drunk onboard while off duty ?

A: Ensure safety of the ship, personnel and the seaman himself. If no threat to the safety, take no action beyond an informal caution unless company’s, charterer’s or ship’s rules prohibit alcohol. Perhaps give a D & A tests before he starts work again.

Q: Why should a seaman not be drunk when off duty ? Why caution the man in the above case ?

A: Every person on the muster list should be able to perform his or her duties at any time, whether in port or at sea.

Q: What entries should you make concerning a seaman left behind ?

A: 1. An entry recording any provision made on the employer’s behalf to ensure that the proper officer has been informed of the seaman’s leaving behind.

2 .An entry recording the date and place of leaving the seaman behind and the reason for leaving behind.

Q: What matter may seaman complain about that are specially provided for in merchant shipping legislation ?

A: Provision and water supplies.

Q: Under what conditions do seaman in a ship have a statutory right to complain to the master, and what is the master required to do about any rightful complain ?

A: If three or more seaman in a ship consider that the provisions or water supplied are not in accordance with regulation (because of bad quality, unfitness for use or deficiency in quantity), they may complain to the master. The master must investigate the complaint.

Q: Inspection for crew accommodation?

A: At least every 7 days, by master or an officer appointed by him accompanied by.

The master must cause an entry to be made in the OLB, regarding

  • The time and date of the inspection
  • The name and ranks of the inspectors and
  • Particulars of any respect in which the accommodation or any part of it was found by either inspector not to comply with the regulations.

To be inspect for:

  • Crew accommodation is maintained in a clean and habitable condition.
  • All equipment and installation required by the regulations is maintained in good working order.
  • All crew accommodation, except store room, is kept free from stores and other property not belonging to or provided for the use of the crew.
  • Cargo is not kept in any part of the crew accommodation and
  • Accommodation provided under the regulations is not used by passengers.
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