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Old 09-07-2010, 08:06   #1
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Unscheduled Crew Departures

At some point I'm going to have to take on two new crew. I have a young couple in mind. They are well qualified and easy to get on with but I have a reservation in my mind that they may jump ship in South America. I can't explain why, just a hunch, but my feelings about people are right more often than wrong.

Has anyone had this happen to them and what were the consequences for you and your vessel?

P.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:30   #2
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Yes. I have had that happen to me where a paid Filipino crew jumped ship in San Diego after breaking into my files to get her passport.

I was faced with a USD 60,000 fine for allowing her to take the passport.

If you are the carrier bringing them into the country, you are legally and financially responsible for their actions.

My advice is to discuss this straight out with them laying down the financial guarantees you will need and the passport control you are required to maintain as the carrier.

Then follow your instincts.
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:58   #3
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Yes. I have had that happen to me where a paid Filipino crew jumped ship in San Diego after breaking into my files to get her passport.

I was faced with a USD 60,000 fine for allowing her to take the passport. snip..
Thank you for that. If you had managed to retain her passport, would you have been held equally responsible?

P.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:09   #4
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The master/owner is responsible whether they jump ship with their documents or without.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:34   #5
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Vasco is correct but they seized on the passport issue to validate my poor judgment.

Thru the Filipino grapevine we hired a PI to track her down and gave the address to Immigration, who then arrested her and she was deported at our expense. (so I escaped the fine)

Not knowing the financial arrangement and crew agreement you have in place it is hard to advise the best way to protect yourself but you need to make sure that you remain in control financially and with their documents, so that they have little incentive to jump ship if they are travelling on a restricted passport.

If their nationalities and financial means give them the freedom to leave you in South America, you cannot prevent it, but they need to be signed off properly with immigration provided they are willing to accept them as tourists, otherwise you will have to repatriate them
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:52   #6
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We just had an incident here in Trinidad where a well-meaning cruiser allowed a "hitch-hiking" couple onto the boat. And then they disappeared. It delayed their planned departure for a significant time. The authorities needed to locate the missing crew and be satisfied that they actually had the means to leave the country.
- - As others have said, the "carrier/vessel" bringing in "crew" is responsible for taking them back out again. Unless you can get them to "sign off" the vessel immediately upon arrival. That requires that they comply with the local regulations about having a paid ticket "off/out" of the country and a place and means to stay while in the country.
- - If you require those two items prior to taking them on then you should not have a problem. But if you are "hiring" them in any way, shape or fashion to assist you in bringing the boat back to your "home country" which also happens to be their home country then the complications are minimal except you are still liable for them at any intermediate stops.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:42   #7
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Thank you all for the contributions, it's clear in my mind now. Never having had a crew who were not friends I'm still feeling my way on this.

P.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:26   #8
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I've read some captains require a deposit large enough to fly crew back to their home country which is exactly what they do if they decide to bail out.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:55   #9
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Even sceduled crew departures can be a problem. When you leave somewhere the immigration officers will want to know what happened to crew that checked in with you. A copy of their tickets or flight itinerary usually suffices.
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Old 13-07-2010, 21:15   #10
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Normally there is a procedure with each countries immigration officials to officially remove the departing crew from your paperwork - when - they leave the boat. Not sometime after. You cannot depart Grenada by air off a yacht without a "departure" form which is only available from immigration. A notation is made on you paperwork that the people have left the boat. You can get into very, very serious trouble if you do not work with immigration to remove them from your paperwork immediately when they "leave" the boat.
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Old 13-07-2010, 21:43   #11
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We had a friend sail trans-Atlantic with us, and it never occurred to me that there could be any complications at the other end when we arrived. Fortunately, he already had a plane ticket home to Canada. So no problem.

When we sailed back and forth to New Zealand from Fiji, there were lots of people carrying crew, but it was almost always Kiwi crew on Kiwi boats so there was never a problem with entry into New Zealand.

Lesson learned. Thanks for the info.
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Old 14-07-2010, 00:06   #12
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Very informative thread.

Hope this is not too far off topic.

My last trip down to my boat in Mexico was with a %#$&*+ I connected with on Craigslist. He didn't want to stop at the border on the way down to check in. Once I got to Loreto, I went into immigration and checked in. Basically, I was punished for my desire to stay on the right side of the rules. Now I am "in the computer".

Sorry for any drift. Just, so many ways to get snagged.
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Old 14-07-2010, 04:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
At some point I'm going to have to take on two new crew. I have a young couple in mind. They are well qualified and easy to get on with but I have a reservation in my mind that they may jump ship in South America. I can't explain why, just a hunch, but my feelings about people are right more often than wrong.

Has anyone had this happen to them and what were the consequences for you and your vessel?

P.
The main thing you need to do is have a frank discussion with them. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it. People problems are worse than any mechanical failure.
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Old 14-07-2010, 07:06   #14
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You know, I honestly believed (and still do) that it is against the law to hold on to someone else's passport against their will....
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Old 14-07-2010, 07:22   #15
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Originally Posted by Aaza Dana View Post
You know, I honestly believed (and still do) that it is against the law to hold on to someone else's passport against their will....
A passport is actually the property of the issuing government - so its not actually yours .....Immigration authorities, at least in the caribbean, regularly hold on to peoples' passports. I dont know about the legality of private individuals (ie the skipper of the boat you are crewing on) holding it but it could be argued that he is acting in an "official capacity" as master of the vessel?
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