Join Date: Oct 2002
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foreign national as crew member
Yes. Decades ago, I was assigned to guard a Greek merchant seaman who had gotten drunk and had failed to be onboard his ship when it left port. (Apparently, this is a fairly common problem.) The shipping company was required to return him to his home port at company expense. The company I represented was also required by US Immigration to make sure that he did make his flight back to Greece, and therefore I had to escort him to the plane and make sure the plane left with him onboard.
As far as I understand, paying for tranportation to a crewman''s home port (which is different from his port of boarding!) is maritime law. I have also heard of casual passengers claiming to be crew and demanding the captain pay airfare to his home country. I have heard, for example, of people who scam cruisers by starting out as unpaid passengers who go on short sails and then, after a "disagreement" with the captain, successfully claim to authorities that the they are crew and require that the captain pay a big ticket for the "crewman''s" airfare to his home country thousands of miles away.
As a result, the admonition is never to take on passengers without requiring of the passenger a paid, open-ended return-trip airline ticket to his passport country or sufficient cash to purchase such a ticket, which may be kept in the ship''s safe.
But, beyond this, I don''t know all the other financial and legal obligations of a captain to his crew, whether paid or unpaid.
Can anyone tell me where I can find this information?