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Drug use by captains?

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by DocRon, Mar 7, 2009.

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  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I notice that this thread really seems to steer clear of alcohol which I consider to be a much more prevalent problem than any other drug on boats and in society. It is a drug. Unless the topic is avoided because it's legal. If that's the case I can think of several halucinogenics that the laws haven't caught up to yet not to mention prescribed narcotics. Would they be OK? Is the captain mentioned a few posts ago who drinks 1/2 a fifth of Vodka a day acceptable? How about if he does it on shore at night and is only hung over while running his vessel? I know this may strike close to home for many, but let me ask: How many know of captains or crew that operate while impaired. Personally, I haven't found it to be a big problem, but more important than if a stew smoked a joint 3 weeks ago.
  2. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    I think if someone is hungover they have impaired consciousness which is not acceptable for any captain. One needs to be fully alert at all times and sorry to say if you have a hangover there is no way all cylinders are firing properly. You touched on narcotics and OTC drugs which impair consciousness as well. Listen, ALL drugs, whether prescribed or not, have side effects. The side effects vary and each individuals susceptibility to the side effects differ.

    I agree that alchol is often overlooked....the so called legal drug. However there is a far greater prevalence of alchol abuse than any other drug.

    As far as the stew who smoked a joint 3 weeks ago.....Unfortunately she would be tested positive in a random drug test even though she may be fully alert at the time of the test. In many situations she would probably lose her job.But the deckhand who went out the night before and is completely hungover at time of RDT, but has no trace of drugs would be ok. Double standards? You decide!!
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The dreaded booze- I have recently met a Captain who wants to introduce Hair Follice Drug tests( random) and Breath Testing for all crew in the morning on workdays.

    When pressed as to whether he and his other half would also be taking part in both programs he told me this was about his crew not him and his partner.

    I found his double standards quite alarming he didn't seem to realise that Port State could make any crew onboard do any drug or drink test at anytime.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    When I hear "Hair folicle test" I think 'person on a crusade'. However, meeting every crewmember at the gangplack with BOTH a urine cup AND a breathalizer (along with his own results) is (rediculous but) almost fair and reasonable. Better still just look into the eyes of your crew and observe their behavior. If they're unsteady or can't function properly (even if it's because of a fight with the wife) it's see you tomorrow (until it happens more than the person is worth, then bye).
  5. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    It is sometimes easier said than done!!!! Quitting the boat could mean waiting quite a while till the next job/ yacht comes along. I would rather work for a bad boat than be unemployed, although I would definitly be looking for another job in the interim.
  6. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    I believe the best way to lead is by setting an example. A captain with double standards would soon lose the respect of his/her crew. Remember the saying "we are all in the same boat !"
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    A broken or severed limb or death could also mean waiting quite a while till the next job. Never let an incompetent be in a position where they could hurt you.
  8. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    And a broken or severed limb would have added medical costs. Good point!
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Its also not a good idea to pull wheelies on a dirt bike at 4 in the morning after a night out with a bunch of yacht designers, all the bones tend to point in the wrong direction. :eek:
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Yeah, but once the casts are applied it's very artistic. Maybe it could give those yacht designers some new ideas.;)
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Ed,
    Did you see in the news last week of the guy who tried to go through Madrid airport with a full cast on his leg. It was made of pure coke, pounds and pounds of it. He may not be on the party scene for a while.

    West Africa is now a major route from South America to Spain, thus Europe, for coke; while the Balkans are the route for heroin from the East.

    When I had just passed my Skippers' exam, a guy walked up to me in a bar and offered me a delivery job on a schooner. $30,000 cash to park the boat off the Eastern Seaboard then turn around and sail home, no questions asked. He even knew my grandmother's maiden name! I politely, quietly told him to Sod-off.
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  13. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    OK, now I get ya. And I agree whole heartedly.
  14. stevenpet

    stevenpet New Member

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    This was posted anonymously on Dockwalk.com on Posted: 13 March 2009 20:14 in the Crew Confessor forum titled No Coke-ing Matter.

    "Being around coke heads is a fact of life on the yachts. Joined three captains for lunch today and all three of them were talking way to fast, feet bouncing like a dog with an itch and sniffing as if they had all come down with the flu.

    “You loose[sic] respect for them ,but you very well might have to work for them. …”

    From what I've read, the crew of yachts are much more willing to acknowlege and talk about captains and crew using drugs than the Captains and owners are.
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Anonymous is a mouth without a brain or a backbone. Worth nothing and a waste of time to listen to.
  16. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Well said Ed,

    I have a habit of jiggling my leg ( annoying to others I am told) when sitting and am told by many that I speak to fast ( Carl can attest to this).

    I also sometimes like to click pens in meetings and draw a lot when on my desk blotter when on the phone, if I die in a plane crash no one other than family will give a **** but if I spin out and murder dozens of co workers then top myself shrinks will conclude wonders from f all

    I had a look online at D/W and found an article on P 16 where some good Samaritan was banging on about drugs. He clearly said alcohol was excluded so needs to have a good look at what the greatest problems facing society really are.

    The supposedly well informed poster should also benefit from checking his facts before posting- Port State Control can be your worst nightmare. You can't say sorry I am on my own property I won't take your drink/drug test under any jurisdiction I am aware of.

    Under PSC you are liable at ALL TIMES to inspections that may require breath/Blood and or Piss tests.

    For amateurs it's a whole new world but for those of us from a commercial background it aint nothing new just more of the same mindless crap

    I am not coke head, this is just me.
  17. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I just went to d/w to check this post and thought the remainder of the post should be printed to show exactly what kind of weasel was posting it.
    "Many times the best thing to do is simply dig in, get on with your job while discreetly placing banana skins and squishy turds along their coke path. Double cross em, mess up their relations with the owner, girlfriend, port captain, charter broker and generally scheme like one of those political operatives who is employed to destroy the careers of the opposition . You will derive pleasure, satisfaction and keep the old paycheck on line as long as possible"
    I'll stick with my original assessment
  18. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    I also read the forum post on D/W. I was surprised by the amount of replies that implied that the crewmember should not worry about it and look the other way. The fact that the entire topic came about by a new crew member having "a strong suspicion" about the mate doing coke. Sure before one begins to slander others it is important to have facts as opposed to suspicions and lets hope the crew member in question goes and gets some hard facts before he does something he may regret for the rest of his life.

    The fact is that drugs and alcohol do impair consciousness and motor skills, judgement and coordination.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Absolute fact, and I'll bet there are a few captains and crew stupid enough to run a boat drunk or stoned and a few irresponsible enough to bring illegal substances on board. Just as there are a few bus drivers, motormen, chauffeurs and Wall Street execs who will do stupid things. BUT I still think it's a rarity based on my 20 plus years in this business. Most of us don't want to screw with our livelihood. Personally, I think this scuttlebutt is perpetuated by wannabes who feel that, if they can shake up the industry with rumors, somehow they'll benefit (if only with the entertainment value of screwing up peoples lives). And before anyone thinks that sounds ridiculous and paranoid read that weasels words again (Wouldn't you love to put your life in his hands.). People like that do exist. Before putting any stock in the rubbish spewn by some anonymous troublemaker talking through his or her butt ask people you know, who have been in the business for more than an instant, how many captains they personally encountered who ran their boats on drugs, drunk or otherwise impaired. For my 20 plus years I've known about a dozen who drank (but weren't drunk) while running, quite a few who drank too much the night before, a few who smoked pot while off the boat, 2 or 3 who brought it aboard (mostly small fishing boats), and none that I knew did harder drugs. I'd say that's way less than epidemic. But that's only my personal experience.
  20. chrismlewis

    chrismlewis New Member

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    I came over to yachting from commercial shipping 11 years ago where management companies undertake unannounced randon drug testing of all crew members - unannounced even to the Captain. A doctor is waiting on the dock when you pull in (in yachting it would need to be off charter LOL!), takes urine samples and takes them away for testing.

    We also had to have blood tested at least once a year shortly before rejoining the vessel.

    Maybe this policy will follow all the other aspects that have come to yachting from shipping over the last few years - qualifications, training etc For better or worse!