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Old 24-01-2016, 21:12   #256
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Your entire argument is based on the supposition in bold.

There are obvious reasons why people don't publish their entire medical histories online.
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Old 24-01-2016, 21:12   #257
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Mr Muckle has it right in my opinion... As a West Coast delivery skipper for a number of years, I was fortunate to have experienced crews whom I could call on for deliveries up and down the coast. I provide them with steady work, good pay and the opportunity to build their respective resumes.
Only once I recall having to hire an individual for a trip from Cabo San Lucas up to San Diego who I didn't know. One of my regular crew was not available but the other was so after meeting and interviewing the new crew member and checking his references, I took him on. Two days out he lost it which is when I found out he was bi polar without his meds and had to return him to Cabo, gave him bus fare to the US and dumped him off. He sued me saying I should have paid him airfare to the US and medical treatment.
My responsibility was to return him to the port where he signed on and give him his walking papers which was what the judge Stateside agreed was fair.
But it was an inconvenience, had to sail short handed and sucked up a lot of unnessary time to sort the mess out.
That is how I see the skippers obligation. Not knowing the extent of the complainers health problem, it is really difficult to sort it out prior to departure legally. Personality, I think the skipper dodged a speeding bullet! Phil


Whose diagnosis would you prefer to believe?

A captain's or a doctor's? Personally, I think a Dr. knows a little more about the symptoms, capabilities, potential problems, etc than someone who may be able to captain a boat, but didn't attend medical school.

The OP is a doctor, the captain is merely a sailor. Who do you think is the expert in terms of medical conditions?
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Old 24-01-2016, 21:15   #258
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Whose diagnosis would you prefer to believe?

A captain's or a doctor's? Personally, I think a Dr. knows a little more about the symptoms, capabilities, potential problems, etc than someone who may be able to captain a boat, but didn't attend medical school.

The OP is a doctor, the captain is merely a sailor. Who do you think is the expert in terms of medical conditions?
Woh! Hold up. He has a PHD, hes not a medical doctor.

Though, other than that, im possibly with you. But not enough known to be sure.
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Old 24-01-2016, 21:26   #259
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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I'm am not sure anyone substantiated the Skipper was near broke. If he pulled $260 out of his pocket it was probably pin money. I can't see making him the bad guy. I still think the OP is looking for sympathy and didn't disclose what would have been prevalent on the phone? Would you rather the Skipper put the rest of the crew or himself in peril. Then we could hang him out to dry here for not vetting his crew.
On "the Capt. was almost broke" line of thought...... We have the OPs statement that the Capt. could only give him $260. My children thought we were poor because when they asked for something they often got the response "We can't afford that." They didn't realize that it was really short hand for "We have lots of financial decisions to make and this is not important enough to float up to the top of things that we are willing to spend money on." IMHO That he was willing to give him anything was very decent of the Capt.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:03   #260
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Whose diagnosis would you prefer to believe?



A captain's or a doctor's? Personally, I think a Dr. knows a little more about the symptoms, capabilities, potential problems, etc than someone who may be able to captain a boat, but didn't attend medical school.



The OP is a doctor, the captain is merely a sailor. Who do you think is the expert in terms of medical conditions?

Permission to come aboard is granted by the captain is it not? His judgement is what counts here. It doesn't matter if the guy was schizophrenic, prone to hives or just a flake. final judgement lies with the skipper.

Btw, I am friends with a brain surgeon that I would never ever take on a passage. He has untreatable verbal diarrhea.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:09   #261
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Should the OP post his entire med history? Surely not! Considering that some medical factor is what this whole argument is hinged upon, should he post the relevant medical info? I think so, if he wants us to be sympathetic to his cause... as seemed to be the crux of the OP.

IMO, they were both somewhat to blame for not working this out pre-travel, but in the long run it is the skippers judgement that must hold sway. He is the one responsible for the voyage, and on whom the blame will fall if something goes agley. Seems that all the professional delivery guys that have commented agree on this, and these are the folks with relevant experience with taking on crew.

And consider the flip side of this: how about the skipper who exaggerates the seaworthyness of his vessel when negotiating with crew (and I reckon this happens pretty often)? The crew then arrives, takes one look and bails. The skipper is pissed and left shorthanded - should we be sympathetic with him?

Finally, I join those who think that the gift of the 260 bucks was indeed a gift, and should have been appreciated, not scorned as inadequate, but that is just my opinion.

Jim

PS It is issues like this behind our decision to never take on unknown crew for passages. Someday we may be forced to do so; I hope that we will do a better job of sorting things out than this lot.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:11   #262
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Permission to come aboard is granted by the captain is it not? His judgement is what counts here. It doesn't matter if the guy was schizophrenic, prone to hives or just a flake. final judgement lies with the skipper.

Btw, I am friends with a brain surgeon that I would never ever take on a passage. He has untreatable verbal diarrhea.
Follow the logic that the skipper has "All" authority and you would support him fir knicking back someone for their colour or slanted eyes perhaps
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:21   #263
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Follow the logic that the skipper has "All" authority and you would support him fir knicking back someone for their colour or slanted eyes perhaps
I would suggest that the skipper also has a responsibility to act reasonably and provide reasons.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:21   #264
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Follow the logic that the skipper has "All" authority and you would support him fir knicking back someone for their colour or slanted eyes perhaps

Yes. I don't have feel I have to agree with his beliefs.

I assume u decide who is allowed in your home?
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:46   #265
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Your entire argument is based on the supposition in bold.

There are obvious reasons why people don't publish their entire medical histories online.
Sorry but while he doesn't have to give us a detailed medial history, leaving out that the Captain left him behind DUE TO A MEDICAL CONDITION is critical to the story.

He didn't admit it to us until someone else with knowledge of the situation called I'm out. That is a history of withholding information.

He then danced around the subject giving us no clue as to it's possible implications. That is a history of withholding information.

He didn't need to give a detailed history but at least a rough outline of what it's impacts could be...how else could we give a reasonable response to the question he voluntarily asked the forum.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:49   #266
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Here is an example of a medical form that we ask students/crew to complete.

It is kept in the a sealed envelope in the chart table until the trip is completed and then destroyed.

I also ask students to disclose to the rest of the crew any medical problems that they have. I start by telling them I have had one episode of reflex fainting and I tell them how to deal with it. I also disclose that I take Tecta for for GERD, Gravol for motion sickness and a daily multi vitamin.

For ocean passages I want medical clearance from a physician.

I just passed a Transport Canada medical, but I will have a full medical with my family physician in the next couple of months as I am probably doing a couple of crossings this year. Regular dental checkups are also essential.

I also ask the crew to ensure that their tetanus shots are current.

Is it 100% effective? Nope. But I think it is due diligence.
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Old 24-01-2016, 22:51   #267
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Whose diagnosis would you prefer to believe?

A captain's or a doctor's? Personally, I think a Dr. knows a little more about the symptoms, capabilities, potential problems, etc than someone who may be able to captain a boat, but didn't attend medical school.

The OP is a doctor, the captain is merely a sailor. Who do you think is the expert in terms of medical conditions?
I believe there is a saying about doctors being the worst patients...something about they think they know everything but really...

If the OP is actually a medical doctor and knows so much, he should have explained what it is and why it wouldn't impact the trip...PRIOR TO ARRIVING AT THE BOAT. I'm sure with superior doctoral knowledge it would be easy to convince the Captain. Much harder to convince someone who feels like they've been lied to.
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Old 24-01-2016, 23:11   #268
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Follow the logic that the skipper has "All" authority and you would support him fir knicking back someone for their colour or slanted eyes perhaps
While I understand your point I might ask you if you would allow a crew member on your boat who discriminated based on color or slanted eyes.

What about a crew member who favored Bruce anchors over Rocna anchors. What about a crew member who argued longly and loudly that multihulls were superior to monohulls, or vice versa. What about a crew member who did not agree with you about global warming, or the lack there of.

I suspect if the truth be known while the reason the skipper gave was undisclosed medical issues it was more than that alone. On more than one occasion I have seen PhDs have conflicts with folks who may lack higher degrees. It is easy to find real conflict on on the topics I have listed.

Does anyone think it is a good idea to take on a crew member who seems to have conflicts with the skipper?
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Old 25-01-2016, 01:41   #269
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Does anyone think it is a good idea to take on a crew member who seems to have conflicts with the skipper?
I haven't had crew for ocean passsages, but I have had crew for coastal. Some of them seem to think they are better sailors than we are (maybe they are) some of them think they know more than we do (maybe they do), some of them think they are the skipper just because they came aboard - they are not.

I'm happy to discuss almost any sailing decision (assuming there is time) with the crew, but once I, or my wife, have said "right here's what we are going to do" - then that is what we do and no more discussions.

We've had a couple decide to things their way in spite of what we said. They never set foot on the boat again.

WE don't know why this skipper made the decision he did. Undisclosed medical conditions are certainly a no-no in my book. Going to a foreign country ups the ante to really high stakes. The skipper can end up being held responsible for medical bills and god knows what else.
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Old 25-01-2016, 03:19   #270
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
Whose diagnosis would you prefer to believe?

A captain's or a doctor's? Personally, I think a Dr. knows a little more about the symptoms, capabilities, potential problems, etc than someone who may be able to captain a boat, but didn't attend medical school.

The OP is a doctor, the captain is merely a sailor. Who do you think is the expert in terms of medical conditions?
But the pertinent question is NOT who is the biggest expert on a medical condition. The question is whether the captain reasonably 'thinks' the medical condition is likely to affect the crewmembers ability to do what is expected of him in order to successfully complete the voyage, whether the captain is right or wrong about that. The captain HAS to have confidence that his crew can successfully complete the voyage.

I'm an airline captain and after one leg of flying a 4 day trip together have told a co-pilot to go call in sick instead of flying the rest of the trip with me. No, I don't think I know more about medicine than his doctor does, but I do know that colds are contagious and I'd be sitting 3' from him for 4 days while touching many of the same objects, and I didn't want the exposure. I also know that a cold saps your energy and since we sometimes do 15 hour days, with a challenging approach and landing at the end, I don't want somebody beside me who's only about half there and is more worried about clearing their ears than making sure we conduct a safe approach. I also know that flying for 4 days with all the up and down pressure changes involved is likely to negatively impact his sinuses and ears and may cause permanent damage, and will probably make his cold symptoms worse as the trip goes on. So, I decided that he needed to go get well and I needed a new, healthy, copilot. This cold he had wasn't anything that his doctor would have thought to be significant and certainly not anything that would prevent most people from going to work, and the copilot thought he was OK to work even thought he certainly was familiar with the fluids running out of his head and his frequent coughing and bleary eyes. But I could clearly see that a simple head cold was negatively impacting his ability to do his job to the point where I found it unacceptable. So, as the captain, with responsibilities to myself, my family, and all the passengers who would be depending on us, I had to make the decision that he wasn't going to fly with me any more that day. Decisions like that are just one of many things that captains are paid to do. In this case, since the copilot had all kinds of sick leave available to him, he basically got an extra 3 days paid vacation and time at home so there was no negative financial impact to him, and I got a healthy copilot and we completed the trip uneventfully. But even if there had been a negative financial impact, that wouldn't have been the deciding factor in my decision.

At no time did I think I knew more about medicine than his doctor does. I do however know a LOT more than his doctor about what is required to be an adequate crewmember in conditions we are likely to encounter over the next 4 days and how a bad head cold might impact our ability to deal successfully with them, so it's ultimately my call, not the doctors.
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