... legal situation, cost situations, crew member duties and/or expectations. This expands on challenges outside a gentleman’s agreement, hand-shake, or verbal chat, and cements in place a mutually binding, and temporary understanding.
Scroll to the base of the page via this link to view our Crew Declaration
Feel free to search our website, in particular at our Crew Member Declaration onboard mySerenity, and grab your ideas. It really is not that hard and saves a lot of heartaches later.
While I regularly used international customs and immigration as crew for 20-years, this remains an ‘unqualified research and observation article’.
I would warmly welcome any feedback from those more qualified in this area to help provide an approach to the challenge facing budget-conscious cruisers. I am not endorsing or sponsored by any products mentioned in this article.
A current controversial topic (COVID Vaccination) is another area that needs addressing. Most countries will not allow entry unless proof of double vaccination (at a minimum) can be shown.
What happens if you are told they have a certificate but they don’t, or their document is found to be fraudulent. This process can take days - weeks to resolve.
Does that mean that the rest of the crew are being held to ransom for the failings of one person? How can the vessel owner be covered legally in a foreign country? There are ways to cover these scenarios.
If it's in writing it is very difficult to argue, in particular in a court of law.
An agreement that covers every scenario is not what we are trying to achieve here. There are however a few topics that can be rounded into a few questions, that cover duty of care and responsibility.
Some food for thought:
1. How can you ensure that a new crew member understands that the duties are voluntary and not for a reward?
2. How can we mandate certain understandings, without sounding offensive?
3. What legal power does the vessel owner have to remove a person from their vessel?
4. If a crew member refuses to leave the vessel (in particular in a foreign country), where do we stand legally?
5. If Authorities request a search of crew member's bags and find an illegal weapon, where does the vessel owner's duty-of-care finish?
Knowing a person's current medical history can not only save their life, but provide an untrained person quick guidance in the event of a medical incident.
Don’t dodge the controversial medical questions such as immunisation requests, asthma, heart and head injuries etc.
Do you currently (or in the past) suffer from any medical conditions that we need to be aware of ? , YES / NO.
What if they reply that they had a collapsed lung 20-years ago?
Great tip - Read more
Please circle YES or NO. If you answer YES to all these, you are welcome to join us:
1. Are you aware we carry nuts, catch and eat fish, meats and poultry, multi-use ALL pots, pans and eating utensils, and do not cater to any diets? (i.e. if you have personal or medical reasons not to touch fish, you are going to have a problem), YES / NO.
2. Are you comfortable assisting in cleaning and cooking all foods, particularly those mentioned above? (i.e. if you have personal reasons, you are going to have a problem), YES / NO.
3. Have you forwarded three copies of your Offshore Insurance? (i.e. have they got Offshore Insurance yet, and how this can be used as a checklist by the crew member), YES / NO.
There is a story of a vessel owner being stranded due to crew misinterpreting what they thought was expected, to now refusing to remove themselves from a vessel.
Others include demanding payment for duties that were not agreed upon in the original pre-departure discussion.
On arrival to a foreign port, to then find that your crew member does not meet that country's entry requirements, the Captain is solely responsible. The Authorities may not permit that person to disembark the vessel. So what do you do? Turn around and sail back out the country?
To take the sting out the tail of the document, include items such as visa requirements, medical and health requirements, insurance and an acknowledgement that the onus is on the crew member to start planning now for such eventualities.
It can slo be used a a checklist by the crew member.
'They are a friend of mine, that’s a bit rude!'
In some ways, a Crew Declaration is similar to a Prenuptial Agreement. It’s something that is difficult to discuss and politely ask to be completed, however, it is in the best interests of all concerned in particular when something goes wrong which it will do.