Doesn't know what he missed!!!

3rd April 2008, 17:48
I recently got some old "Ships Telegraphs" off a near-neighbour, (Rob Hayward), of mine, who used to be in Cunard.
There must have been an on-going "discussion", in the copies he gave me, via the Letters Page about "The good old days" at sea and how copious amounts of grog used to be consumed.
There was a letter from some po-faced little turd of a 3rd. Mate saying how pleased he was that he was in The Modern Merchant Navy and "all that sort of thing" was a thing of the past and how everybody was very professional now.
Unfortunately the "Telegraphs" were months and months old otherwise I would have sent a suitably worded reply!
He obviously thought all hands were three sheets to the wind permanently!!
Having heard about The Modern Merchant Navy and the breathalysing etc., which goes, on I know which era of Merchant Navy I prefer!!!!(Hippy)

3rd April 2008, 18:55
Problem is that there are a LOT of those people at sea now, in fact it's positively encouraged by the shipowners for obvious reasons.
Whatever happened to the golden rule of "never squeal on your mates", or that other late lamented idea of "deal with it onboard, amongst ourselves"?
This is progress, apparently...

Roger Bentley
3rd April 2008, 18:57

Roger Bentley
3rd April 2008, 18:59
Re my reply it was in response to Phil's comments. Far be it from me to be po faced. Salaams

3rd April 2008, 19:26
There really is no choice in the matter

Random testing has taken care of that. Drink and you may loose your job.

3 cans are enough to put you over the limit and it does not matter how many hours before you go on duty.

Sad but true.

3rd April 2008, 19:34
The really daft thing about random testing is that with most companies (there are exceptions) is that they do it when in port, regardless of when you are/aren't on duty, or whether you're working/sailing etc.
However there is no random testing at sea, so you tend to find people tend to drink more at sea rather than in port (even on dry ships). This to me seems kind of skew-wiff, but best not say that to management or it might give one of those desk bound ******** yet another bright 'idea'.

3rd April 2008, 22:07
can anyone think of a comparable situation ashore where an employee of a company is forced to go 4 months+ without a drink?

3rd April 2008, 22:12
No drink, no shoreleave, no fun, no nights off, no deck sports, shipsmates who will 'grass' you up at the drop of a hat and the fact that the slightest error on your part will either result in a sacking or at worst imprisonment and a massive fine.
Of course the shipping companies and Govt authorities are all united in their bewilderment as to why nobody wants to go to sea these days...

Derek Roger
3rd April 2008, 22:13
Four months is just a "dog Watch " We were away most of the time for 9 months in the 60's Moss tankers were 18 months prior to that unless you were lucky enough to hit the UK coast ( 2 days notice I think was the rule )

Cheers Derek

4th April 2008, 13:01
can anyone think of a comparable situation ashore where an employee of a company is forced to go 4 months+ without a drink?

The receptionist at Alcoholics Anonymous.'s a secret.

4th April 2008, 13:15
Four months is just a "dog Watch " We were away most of the time for 9 months in the 60's Moss tankers were 18 months prior to that unless you were lucky enough to hit the UK coast ( 2 days notice I think was the rule )

Cheers Derek

Without a drink?

4th April 2008, 13:28
The company I'm currently working for has just decided to put beer BACK onboard its tanker fleet!

The reason being that dry ships aren't working, as the crew just disappear up the road when the ship arrives in port and take a risk on the breathaliser test.

Positive tests have not reduced since the dry policy was introduced.

4th April 2008, 13:34
I think it was Maersk who after famously going dry a few years back (long saga with the ex P&O Nedlloyd guys) found the very same thing happening and the number of people testing positive actually increased after the ban.
As you say, no chance to wind down on the ship so as soon as she gets into port for her 8 hour stay or whatever they're all up the road to the bars and upon return its a case of "breathe/pee into this please".
It's a cultural thing I find, the French have a few glasses of wine with meals, the Italians (and many others) have their cafe culture etc, but in the UK we go to the Pub, simple as that.
Prohibition has been tried in many places and for many things, but the one outcome that unites them all is the fact that it inherently doesn't work!
Do Interorient still manage the Baltic class 37000 tonners that were on long term charter to BP? Used to see them regularly together with their Russian built predecessors.

4th April 2008, 14:03
When they breathalyse the crew and find them positive do they put the ship on a lay-by berth until everyone is "clean"? I bet they don't.

John T.

4th April 2008, 14:06
Currently running 19 'Baltics' including two recently bought from BP.

4th April 2008, 14:12
What about testing office technical staff who are on call for emergency response as part of ism requirements? Anyone ever heard of that happening ?


4th April 2008, 14:22
I've known of quite a few occasions where someone has been tested, found positive yet have remained onboard for several weeks (in one case just over a month) as the company could not find a relief and naturally were unwilling to lay the ship up! I've seen this with an Oil Major as well as a few others.
If that doesn't show up their "principles" I don't know what does!

Which two came from BP? I know they took over 4 a few years ago, have they given a couple back? I was never a good enough boy to get sent on those ships, newest product ship I got was a late 80s built 40,000t!

We brought it up at a "Seastaff Workshop" one time, and put it to them along the lines of the Office staff being under the same rules as the Seafarers, meaning DPA's, Superintendents and the like.
Some of the facial expressions not to mention the "what they didn't say" responses from the office staff told us all we needed to know.
At the same meeting one of the high up bods was banging on about company loyalty or lack of it, to which one of the Chief Mates present said "we'll show as much loyalty to the company as they show to us".
Cue much coughing/spluttering/stuttering from the assembled Office wallahs.

Frank P
4th April 2008, 14:24
I sailed on Norwegian ships for about 7 years in the 1960/70's and I was onboard only one ship that was completely dry, there were more alcohol problems on that ship than any of the others.
Cheers Frank

4th April 2008, 14:28
It was a subject we brought up also when ISM was being formulated & introduced and there was no reference to alcohol ban at all


4th April 2008, 15:00

British Engineer was one and the British Experience was the other.

Derek Roger
4th April 2008, 15:38
Without a drink?

Are you kidding ??? Derek

4th April 2008, 20:03
Are you kidding ??? Derek

Yes & no!

They weren't called the good old days for nothing.

The point I think is what is going to feel longer, your trips or 4 to 6 months on dry ships with the occassional coffee morning as the highlight of the week.

I personnally feel that the drink rules are ludicrous, however, in an age when you can't get through the refinery gate if the Guard suspects alcohol and you need photographic ID to go on the jetty to make a phone call, I suppose a cup of coffee is a treat.

K urgess
4th April 2008, 20:40
Until someone decides that caffeine is a dangerous drug and they invent a breathalyser to check you haven't had more than two units before going on watch.[=P]
Getting more and more satisfied with having got out in 1977.

Derek Roger
5th April 2008, 00:11
Why would you want coffee Kris ?? It might keep you awake !! Derek

K urgess
5th April 2008, 01:03
To sleep perchance to dream, Derek?
Of nostalgic days at sea.[=P]