Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Breaking/bending the rules

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Breaking/bending the rules

    Hi all,

    The last thread posted here got me to thinking; Anyone who's been to sea will have, I'm fairly sure, seen some rule or regulation broken. But to what extent? And how bad is it?

    For example; I work on a ship where smoking is prohibited inside the accommodation, and we have to go outside to smoke. But, I know of at least one crewmember who smokes in their cabin, and late at night, especially if the weather is sh1te, I'll smoke in my bathroom. We have no smoke detectors in our cabins and we do have extractors in the bathrooms.

    That is, I'm sure, a very tame example, but I'm very interested to hear how far the rules get bent on other ships. I'm fully expecting that there will be some people who will want to shout me down, and tell me that smoking in my bathroom (or whatever else people divulge) is terribly irresponsible and they hope they never sail on a ship with such an idiot, but I have a feeling (and please correct me if I'm way out here) that most of those people will be in the category who have not yet been to sea or have only done a few weeks at sea.

    I'm not condoning rule breaking, nor am I asking anyone to whistleblow, that's why this is being posted anonymously, and I STRONGLY suggest anyone who replies with a story to do so anonymously as well, but anyone who's been at sea for any length of time will, most likely, have seen things being done not in accordance with the rule book, and I think it's worth discussing: Where are the lines drawn in the real world? What is OK? What is OK because you/the crew think it's bullsh*t, What is OK because no-one cares? What is OK because there's no time to do it properly? What is deemed OK because no-one knows any better? What passes as OK because no-one has the time? Does the paperwork get flogged? How much? Is it little things you consider forgiveable or do you cringe if you're asked/told to sign something when you know it's not right?

    Hopefully, no-one's going to come up with any major issues here, but if there is something big you want to get off your chest, don't hold back, if you post anonymously it can't be traced, and it may be that the collective can give advice as to how to get it sorted.

  • #2
    I work for a "dry" company. And every vessel I have been on there is at least one member of crew drinking. I've even seen cans floating away behind the vessel on my watch!

    Comment


    • #3
      Well i have never seen an eptw for low voltage work. All the steps are followed except the paperwork.
      Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

      Comment


      • #4
        Rules are made for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of fools.
        Go out, do stuff

        Comment


        • #5
          Not some much rule breaking as scary. I remember working on the outboard side of a life boat with another cadet. We had harnesses on but after we finished the other cadet had a tug on his harness and what it was clipped on to just poped straight out.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have recently qualified as an OOW, however other than during the PSCRB course I have only seen a lifeboat launched once and that involved using a crowbar to get the hooks open. Also I have only done maybe 5 fire drills in my whole seatime so far. This makes me quite nervous about getting a job with reputable companies as I am concearned that I will not actualy have the skills and experaince to do drills/ act in an emergancy properly.

            Also most of the officers I have sailed with have taken that if you are bigger than the other vessel then colregs don't apply sort of approach.

            while I am aware that these were good lessons in how not to do things I would have prefered a few more lessons on how things should be done.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
              I have recently qualified as an OOW, however other than during the PSCRB course I have only seen a lifeboat launched once and that involved using a crowbar to get the hooks open. Also I have only done maybe 5 fire drills in my whole seatime so far. This makes me quite nervous about getting a job with reputable companies as I am concearned that I will not actualy have the skills and experaince to do drills/ act in an emergancy properly.

              Also most of the officers I have sailed with have taken that if you are bigger than the other vessel then colregs don't apply sort of approach.

              while I am aware that these were good lessons in how not to do things I would have prefered a few more lessons on how things should be done.
              As long as you have the good theortical knowledge, and you've proven that by passing an MCA OOW Oral Exam then you have a good foundation to start from. When you join a reputable company, just be honest and be open and willing to learn from others. I sailed on cargo ships with freefall lifeboats and <12 crew as a cadet many if not all were 3rd world. After sailing as 3/O with that company, I was lucky enough to be offered a 4th Officers position with the cruise lines, where I filled in the gaps with some excellent and professional officers. I would say companies like BP, Maersk, Bibby etc will provide a better learning environment, but if you've experienced the **** end of the industry and made your way into the better companies later on, you have a lot more real life experience of what the majority of the shipping industry is like.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                I have recently qualified as an OOW, however other than during the PSCRB course I have only seen a lifeboat launched once and that involved using a crowbar to get the hooks open. Also I have only done maybe 5 fire drills in my whole seatime so far. This makes me quite nervous about getting a job with reputable companies as I am concearned that I will not actualy have the skills and experaince to do drills/ act in an emergancy properly.

                Also most of the officers I have sailed with have taken that if you are bigger than the other vessel then colregs don't apply sort of approach.

                while I am aware that these were good lessons in how not to do things I would have prefered a few more lessons on how things should be done.
                Has anyone not seen hours of rest regs violated?


                Also the 'we're bigger than them' is defintely something that I've seen again and again. Rise above it, at least now you've your OOW ticket and are in the position to do. There was definitely bits of my cadet time that were lacking, particularly in practical skills such as drills (which I was often deliberately kept out of or were just not done onboard my vessels) but I made a decision that when I got my ticket I wouldn't be one of those officers who not only doesn't know but doesn't even bother to find out.

                I wish I'd had more constructive seatime as a trainee but as YM says you've just got to ask and I'm making up for it now in abundance, every day's a school day! It's one of the things I love about this job. I also found that when I qualified it was a lot harder to be dismissed in the same way as you are as a cadet. Also if you're worried about lacking skills don't be, it's very simple to say 'it's been a while since I used that piece of equipment/ didn't have that type/ we sent it ashore for servicing/ the Bosun did it/ I had a different role using it in a Drill/ never got the chance to use it .... Can someone show me?'.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here's a few moments from the top of my head.

                  hours of rest:

                  The chief officer and captain getting stupidly drunk that they couldn't speak or stand, forgetting that they head cargo surveyors coming on board. Of course once the surveyors found them they said they would come back the next day and continue when they were sober. The C/O and captain were stupid enough to do it several days in a row. Every time the surveyors came on board and found them like this we failed the inspection. Even if they were sober we still wouldn't have passed as the holds weren't clean enough.

                  This doesn't sound too bad but the crew, including us cadets, were made to work 22 hours a day without breaks until we passed the inspection. The C/O and captain made us do this work to pass it as quick as possible, possibly in fear of their jobs.

                  You would have thought somebody would say something about hours of rest, but as soon as something like this happens everybody turns into cowards. I spoke with the crew about it, but no body wanted to say anything. So I went to speak with the C/O and captain, of course they didn't want to know. I then emailed the company, and they were sacked after we berthed.


                  Another story in regards to hours of rest. Cadets on a particular ship with the same company were made to do a stowaway watch for the whole duration of loading. Bearing in mind it would take 18 to 30 hours to load the vessel. We weren't allowed any breaks whilst doing this. Of course nobody wanted to know, nor did the company.


                  In terms of health and safety breaches:
                  Crew members working aloft or outboard without safety harnesses, such as on top of the lifeboats and cleaning bridge windows.
                  Working without PPE


                  A particular interesting one is a latvian officer telling me he bought his ticket. It sounded plausible as he didn't know how to calculate compass errors.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                    Rules are made for the guidance of the wise and the blind obedience of fools.
                    Well yeah, that's great if you've been at sea for a good few years and know what's acceptable and what's not, but here we have a lot of total noobies, cadets and newly qualified officers, who don't feel wise yet. I agree that you should always utilise common sense, but hearing stories about lifeboats not releasing properly and then being logged as ok, and people being made to work 22hrs straight... obviously some ships don't give a fig, but for the noobs here, where SHOULD you draw the line?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
                      Here's a few moments from the top of my head.

                      hours of rest:

                      The chief officer and captain getting stupidly drunk that they couldn't speak or stand, forgetting that they head cargo surveyors coming on board. Of course once the surveyors found them they said they would come back the next day and continue when they were sober. The C/O and captain were stupid enough to do it several days in a row. Every time the surveyors came on board and found them like this we failed the inspection. Even if they were sober we still wouldn't have passed as the holds weren't clean enough.

                      Where exactly where you when this went on? I find it very hard to believe that this could go on without the surveyor's calling into the office or the agent calling up the company to tell them that two of the seniors are rat-arsed. (Regardless of whether the ship is dry or not, alcohol is still a problem)

                      This doesn't sound too bad but the crew, including us cadets, were made to work 22 hours a day without breaks until we passed the inspection. The C/O and captain made us do this work to pass it as quick as possible, possibly in fear of their jobs.

                      They can't force you to do anything. Unless it's an emergency, and your ship is liable to sink or burn down then this shouldn't happen.

                      You would have thought somebody would say something about hours of rest, but as soon as something like this happens everybody turns into cowards. I spoke with the crew about it, but no body wanted to say anything. So I went to speak with the C/O and captain, of course they didn't want to know. I then emailed the company, and they were sacked after we berthed.

                      So the surveyor's probably did email the office then, because that's too short a time period for seniors to be fired. Normally, you can't sack senior officers without having others lined up ready to go on board otherwise the ship is stopped until you source new ones and unless they're on back to back contracts, they're not normally just hanging around.

                      Another story in regards to hours of rest. Cadets on a particular ship with the same company were made to do a stowaway watch for the whole duration of loading. Bearing in mind it would take 18 to 30 hours to load the vessel. We weren't allowed any breaks whilst doing this. Of course nobody wanted to know, nor did the company.

                      Did you tell the company about this? Can you prove this went on? If you don't tell the company that there are problems then how are they meant to know? I don't have a crystal ball...


                      In terms of health and safety breaches:
                      Crew members working aloft or outboard without safety harnesses, such as on top of the lifeboats and cleaning bridge windows.
                      Working without PPE

                      Usual sort of thing that most folks ignore at their peril. It's amazing how often stuff like this pops up in near misses. That and safety goggles on deck. Did you stop them? Raise a near miss report for their actions? Remember, we lost a cadet with Stena/NMM doing something very similar!

                      A particular interesting one is a latvian officer telling me he bought his ticket. It sounded plausible as he didn't know how to calculate compass errors.

                      Not beyond the realms of possibility, but if you were with a half-decent firm then it usually gets caught out fairly quickly as most manning agents check and confirm with the training establishments that the person in their office is the one who went through the training. However, don't let this put folks off when sailing with Latvians. Most of the Latvian chaps and chapettes working on our vessels are fantastic.
                      My Bold.

                      Be interesting to know more about this.
                      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        Where exactly where you when this went on? I find it very hard to believe that this could go on without the surveyor's calling into the office or the agent calling up the company to tell them that two of the seniors are rat-arsed. (Regardless of whether the ship is dry or not, alcohol is still a problem).
                        I'm sure the surveyors did call in to say something about the drunkenness, but the surveyors didn't know the hours we had been working. They didn't say they had called people about it, but I'm sure they had as the company was usually disinterested when cadets make complaints. This was at an anchorage, I won't say exactly where as this may reveal who I am to other people who were on board, but it was in a western country.

                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        They can't force you to do anything. Unless it's an emergency, and your ship is liable to sink or burn down then this shouldn't happen.
                        I thought we could get sacked if we refused to work? Most people are afraid to speak up at sea in case they get a hard time on board, they just want to get along with everybody.

                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        Did you tell the company about this? Can you prove this went on? If you don't tell the company that there are problems then how are they meant to know? I don't have a crystal ball
                        Yes I did tell the company I was doing illegal hours, as said in my post the company didnt want to know. They only did something the other time as the surveyor said something.

                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        Usual sort of thing that most folks ignore at their peril. It's amazing how often stuff like this pops up in near misses. That and safety goggles on deck. Did you stop them? Raise a near miss report for their actions? Remember, we lost a cadet with Stena/NMM doing something very similar!
                        I did mention to them it would be safer to wear a harness but they were disinterested.

                        Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                        Not beyond the realms of possibility, but if you were with a half-decent firm then it usually gets caught out fairly quickly as most manning agents check and confirm with the training establishments that the person in their office is the one who went through the training. However, don't let this put folks off when sailing with Latvians. Most of the Latvian chaps and chapettes working on our vessels are fantastic.
                        I have heard for a few thousand dollars that they can get an official ticket, which will come up on their training establishment's databases etc, so even if they did check it would still seem official. Nothing against Latvians mind you, only this particular fellow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think anon and nutmeg make very fair points, as a cadet on possibly not the best ship you're often put in difficult positions, often some crews fear more for losing their jobs or being branded trouble makers than actually standing up and doing something to put right the problem. Cadets who are seen to cause trouble still need reports from the same ship for their portfolio (or whatever it's called these days), the politics involved can be horrendous and/ or make life onboard very uncomfortable.

                          Where to draw the line? That's a good question and I think it depends very much on the individual person, the ship, the crew and the Captain/ Chief as well as the company. Sometimes it's better just to get your head down, sometimes better to negotiate and sometimes better to run away screaming. How do you gauge it though? I don't know. Some fights aren't worth it. Maybe it's better to just put your head down as a cadet? But the problems don't disappear when cadets leave and the idea that a cadet/ trainee and sometimes even a newly qualified officer can fight every wrong onboard a vessel with low standards is pretty unrealistic especially when they're only learning the ropes themselves and considered at the bottom of the ladder. At least as an Officer you have more of a chance to go 'right, from now on...'

                          Honestly though, I don't know, I've seen things that go beyond my levels of integrity and bit my tongue, then other times have stepped in and said enough's enough. Depends on the people involved/ situation. Anon's post sounds pretty sucky though 22 hours on watch is something I expect most people have had to do or will do during time at sea, doesn't mean it's right but it's not so uncommon. Other stuff described sounds pretty screwed up though...

                          Be interesting to hear others' thoughts on where the line stands?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                            My Bold.

                            Be interesting to know more about this.
                            Just saw your reply after I'd replied, just wondering out of interest... You say 'I don't have a crystal ball' which is fair comment, if nobody knows something is wrong how can they do eff all about it?

                            I wonder though how many cadets would even know how to go about contacting their compnaies and if they would feel unable to do that in that senior officers/ Captains/ Chiefs were in cahoots with the company. When I was a cadet I knew we had a designated person but would never have felt in a position to go above my Captain's head, the fact they were the same nationality and I was the 'foreign' cadet did not exactly help matters. Not that I needed to but....

                            Not a criticism, I think you're quite right, just wondering how removed many cadets feel from their companies in being able ro contact them if things literally hit the s**t fan?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I assume that you were sponsored by this company through a training provider? Did you contact the company or your training provider initially? This sort of thing simply should not be allowed to happen and training providers should not be placing cadets with companies where it does. I know that some of the training providers look at these forums so if you are reading this then you need to do something now.
                              Go out, do stuff

                              Comment

                              Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
                              Auto-Saved
                              x
                              Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove  
                              x
                              or Allowed Filetypes: jpg, jpeg, png, gif
                              x
                              x
                              Working...
                              X