Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Pasadena Md - Magothy side
Thanked 31 Times in 31 Posts
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Re: Limits of Captains authority
On the USNS Apache (my last sea going duty assignment) I was the CPOIC - Chief Petty Officer in Charge, as senior military on the ships assigned crew I was also the Officer in Charge.
If another group of military came aboard I was still the OIC regardless of rank or senority of the visitors (it happened all the time, especially SEAL and Mine warfare types. Some junior officers didn't get it and had to be shown the regulations and orders).
The ship was actually run by a civilian ships master, 1st mate and 14 other civilian crew. The officers of that crew down to the third mate could direct my actions but not order me to do things. Only I could order the military personnel in the performance of their duties. The military made every voyage /trip whatever for the years we were assigned, the civilians came and went - sometimes monthly, sometimes longer.
As a USNS we were bound by USCG rules.
For a recreational vessel you can call me Person in Charge, Skipper, Admiral, Captain or just Chuck. I'm not licensed nor do I intend to ever be. I sail for pleasure not business.
I consider myself responsible for the safe operation of the boat and it's crew and quests, and that's not a transferable responsibility. If you ignore my directions regarding safety and operation of the boat then you become neither crew nor guest and are either a swimmer or dropped off at the nearest land fall.
I know I'm not always right and welcome discussion and input on all things sailing - but not when that conversation imperils the boat or crew (proper time and place).
Unfortunately 'get topless' doesn't have any logical safety or operational bearing. Nor does 'make me a sandwich' or 'refill my drink'.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.