SHIPTALK: 18 Serious Offences Under Merchant Navy Code Of Conduct That May Lead To Dismissal (2)


Wilful act of not performing the assigned duties: To refuse to work as specified by the company (duties listed in the ISM Code), means that the seafarer is not compliant and does not deserve to be paid his dues. The ship has a professional environment running smoothly because everyone does their jobNot following orders of seniors related to ship's safety: There's a reason that progressing in the shipboard hierarchy is also pegged to experience (aside from passing examinations). A senior officer knows more and a genuine order to protect the safety of the ship cannot be hindered

Persistently late reporting for duty or remaining absent from the duty: Again, seafaring calls for a high degree of professionalism. A general attitude of nonchalance towards one's assigned duty is not acceptable. As mentioned, every ought to stick to their job for the smooth running of the vessel and failure to do so causes a disbalance in the chain of command. For example, an officer on cargo watch for 6 hours expects the next to be punctual as he is exhausted and has another 6 hour cycle to execute; not showing up on time just negates a good work environment

Sleeping or avoiding work during the duty period: This can be read and interpreted with regard to points 9 and 10

Revelation of a major health problem at sea, hidden from the company before joining:Again, the keyword here is professionalism. This is not a job that can be done without being at a certain physical efficiency level. It is important to disclose all medical history to the doctor and during the check-up before joining the ship. Sudden disclosure at sea is only going to disrupt the shipboard efficiency

Smoking using naked light in no smoking zone or near dangerous goods: Rather obvious! Certain cargoes carry a very high risk of flammability and must be not have any ignition source around it. Also, with designated rooms for smoking, there is just no reason to smoke on deck. As far as naked lights go, they are a complete no-no as well for the same reasons.

Reporting to duty after consuming alcohol or under the effect of alcohol:  Sobriety is of paramount importance. While there is always the aspect of human error, error under influence and error when sober are worlds apart. The former can be classified as a violation while the latter might not be so

Interfering with the work of other fellow crew members, resulting in danger to the safety of the ship: As mentioned above, STICK TO YOUR JOB! While it is a great gesture to help another personnel out in need on-board, it should not interfere with the workings of one staff and in any case, not be at the cost of the safety of the ship. As displayed on the outer bulkhead of the accommodation “SAFETY FIRST”Conduct of sexual abuse which may harm the dignity of fellow women or men at work or passengers on-board: This can be classified as ugly “disgusting”. Women are very slowly integrating into the merchant navy workforce and such an act will only deter them from joining and for those already in the workforce, it will kill their will to continue and cause them grief. It is also against basic human principles. The same goes in case that sexual advances are made towards a man. Any sexual harassment ought to be treated with the strictest punishment. On ship, everyone is present because of their qualifications and that is irrespective of their gender or attraction levels. It is for this reason that all corporate houses have a sexual harassment clause that protects their workers

Offending fellow crew members in terms of their religion or nationality: While the world is suffering under the weight of racism and crimes in the name of religion, the shipping industry takes pride in its international nature, free from such useless barriers. A multicultural and multinational crew should be celebrated and taken pride in instead of targeting.

Allowing or bringing unauthorised person on-board while at sea: Unless authorised by the Master who liaises with the agents and the port authorities for this purpose, bringing anyone on board is an offence. If for legitimate reasons, the individual can always request the Master for permission- for example, getting a family member on-board for a brief period when at the home port

All in all, it is really great that such acts are punishable under the Code as the absence of it would result in total chaos and different interpretations of a questionable act.