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Legal warning for yacht captains on Cayman-registered vessels

16 May 2024

Nautilus is notifying captains of yachts that are flagged in the Cayman Islands that they may be open to criminal prosecution and a significant fine if they sail (or attempt to sail) when there is a crewmember onboard without a Seafarers' Employment Agreement (SEA).

The country's Shipping Act requires that all seafarers onboard a vessel flagged in the Cayman Islands have a valid SEA in place, signed by the seafarer and by or on behalf of the employer. The Act was recently updated to expand the requirement from commercial vessels to all vessels, including privately registered yachts.

Nautilus has noted that Clause 90.(4) of the updated Act, which went into force on 11 March 2024, states that''if a ship goes to sea or attempts to go to sea in contravention of the requirements of this section, the master and the shipowner commit an offence and are liable on summary conviction to a fine of twenty thousand dollars.'

Nautilus yacht organiser Cheryl McCann said: 'We need our members to be aware that, if a any vessel flagged to Cayman Islands goes to sea with any crew onboard who do not have a valid SEA in place, the master (along with the shipowner) can be found in contravention of the new Act and subject to such a fine.'


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