Enhanced Security For Yacht Crew

Enhanced Security For Yacht Crew

The Cayman Islands have introduced significant amendments to their Shipping Act, aimed at bolstering the security of yacht crew members. However, these changes come with stringent penalties for captains who fail to comply. Captains of yachts flagged under the Cayman Islands could face substantial fines if their vessels are found non-compliant with the revised regulations.


Nautilus International has issued a warning to captains and yacht owners that they could face criminal prosecution and a fine of up to $20,000 if their vessel sets sail with any crew member lacking a valid Seafarers' Employment Agreement (SEA). The updated Shipping Act mandates that all seafarers aboard a Cayman Islands-flagged vessel must have a SEA that is duly signed by the seafarer and the employer or an authorized representative.


Previously, this requirement applied only to commercial vessels, but the recent revision, effective from March 11, 2024, extends it to include privately registered yachts. Nautilus yacht organizer Cheryl McCann emphasized the importance of compliance, noting that any vessel operating with crew members without a valid SEA will result in both the master and the shipowner being liable for the offence and the associated fine.


"We urge our members to ensure that all crew aboard Cayman Islands-flagged vessels have the necessary agreements in place to avoid severe penalties," said McCann. The revised act, specifically Clause 90.(4), underlines the legal obligation and the consequences of non-compliance, stressing the need for diligence in adhering to these new regulations.



These changes reflect a broader effort to enhance the working conditions and legal protections for yacht crew members, aligning private yachting practices with the standards expected in commercial shipping. Yacht captains and owners are advised to review their compliance strategies to avoid the hefty fines and legal issues that could arise from neglecting these crucial updates.


Nautilus International is an independent and influential global trade union and professional organization dedicated to advocating for maritime professionals both at sea and ashore. It plays a pivotal role in shaping industry standards, focusing on health and safety, and improving working conditions. Engaging with governments, regulators, industry bodies, and United Nations agencies, Nautilus ensures high-quality maritime operations led by well-trained professionals who receive fair pay and conditions. The organization actively negotiates on critical issues such as wages, leave, tour lengths, and onboard facilities, distinguishing itself through its international scope and ability to navigate diverse regulatory environments.

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