View Single Post
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 02-12-2007, 01:05 PM
Shipyard Sam Shipyard Sam is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rabbit Hash, KY and Decatur, Al Shipyards
Posts: 1,160
Default Coasties have This to Say...

Bruno and All:
The USCG has this to say concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages:


Table of Contents
Sec. 95.045 General operating rules for vessels inspected, or subject
to inspection, under Chapter 33 of Title 46 United States Code.

While on board a vessel inspected, or subject to inspection, under
Chapter 33 of Title 46 United States Code, a crewmember (including a licensed individual), pilot, or watch-stander not a regular member of the crew:
(a) Shall not perform or attempt to perform any scheduled duties
within four hours of consuming any alcohol;
(b) Shall not be intoxicated at any time;
(c) Shall not consume any intoxicant while on watch or duty; and
(d) May consume a legal non-prescription or prescription drug
provided the drug does not cause the individual to be intoxicated.

But what I am seeing here is a actually a company policy. One big difference with my boat and those of Majestic America Line is that we do not live aboard ours. However, as our company does have very strict rules concerning our behavior while at work, we are also expected to conduct ourselves while off duty in such a way that it does not adversely affect the reputation of the company in a negative way. To do so, offenders will be held accountable for any indiscretions.

Our company policies, like MAL’s, are for all employees, and everyone must be treated equally regardless of rank, title, position, or duties. Anyone who accepts their paycheck must understand that they have to abide by their company’s rules, regulation, and policies. Though we have several very nice bars on our property, employees, at all levels, cannot drink alcoholic beverages on-property even when off duty. There is actually a rule that forbids employees from loitering 30-minutes before and after duty hours. So our rules are rigorous, too.

Some years ago, when I started back on the DELTA QUEEN after a stint in the Air Force, the boat was tied-up in the Industrial Canal at Dixie Machine Works in New Orleans where extensive repairs had been underway for some time. A couple of days before we were due to leave the shipyard, Captain Wagner let everyone know that he expected our hair to be cut and not extending below our shirt collars by sailing day. Long hair was a big deal back then, so I became upset at the skipper’s decree, and though I did not express my dissatisfaction to “Big Cap”, instead I turned to Roddy Hammett with whom I expected some sympathy and support. But much to my surprise and ultimate education, Rod simply said, “If you are going to accept the pay, you have to accept the rules.” His wise counsel immediately made sense, for I wanted to work on the DELTA QUEEN more than anything else in the world; so I found a barber shop and that was that.

The same applies to the new drinking decree. From someone who has seen many problems caused by employee drinking on those and other boats, I can empathize with the Majestic America Line policy concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages during the twenty-eight days, or so, employees are on duty on board their steamboats. That policy stipulates that all personnel must be ready to perform at their utmost best for the "safety of passengers and crew on board in the event of an emergency," and the company apparently decided that the consumption of demon rum, in any quantity, is not in keeping with that stipulation.

For those on the steamboats whose duties may include smoozing the passengers, there is nothing in the policy that I can interpret that forbids such employees from having a "drink" as long as that drink contains no alcohol. So those folks will have to get used to the taste of ginger ale instead of champagne, coke without the bourbon, and O'Doul's instead of a Miller Lite.

Now if only I could get the crew down at the Rabbit Hash Shipyard sobered up....

Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 02-12-2007 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Add ;
Reply With Quote