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Old 07-08-2003, 20:50   #1
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Question repatriation problems

I am looking for help and/or info regarding crew abandonment and repatriation. My fiancee and I had been crewing on a yacht since 06/98 and were fired while the vessel was in Gibraltar in 06/03. When I asked the owner/master of the vessel to provide for our repatriation to Tampa, FL, he replied "Thatīs your problem". It is my understanding that the owner/master of the vessel is liable for providing repatriation, but I have not been able to find any hard evidence. The closest thing I have found is the Jones Act, but it seems to pertain to injuries. The USCG has been of little help, usually passing me off to another department.
We were lucky to have had enough money for air fare back to the USA, but now Iīm hoping to be reimbursed by the vessel owner without having to go to court over it. At the very least, if I canīt get the money back, Iīd like to see him prosecuted so this doesnīt happen to another trusting crew. (I have filed a report with the Marine Safety Office in Tampa regarding outdated flares, liferaft, epirbs, first-aid kit( prescription meds expired mid ī80s), & a host of official document errors. Unfortunately, the vessel is currently overseas & out of the USCG jurisdiction.)
This vessel is a commercially registered charter vessel (USCG certificate of documentaion) as a tax loophole and should be treated the same as any other commercial vessel whose crew is abandoned with no provision for repatriation.
Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 14-08-2003, 01:28   #2
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Well, not sure how it is on a yacht, but I served a few years in the merchant marine and the return ticket was covered in the contract...If ya stay at least 6 months onboard, free ticket home from anywhere in the world, etc.

In yer case, perhaps ya could contact a maritime lawyer and take out a lien against the yacht.
The Sheriff would chain the thing to the dock next time it is back in the US.

(Not sure about that, just a guess, but give it a try...Tack on some other expenses as well.... )

Good luck
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