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Ukraine conflict

Nautilus holds Ukraine advice session for yacht professionals

9 March 2022

Nautilus International has held an Instagram Q&A session for yacht professionals who are concerned about the impact of the war in Ukraine on their work.

Strategic organisers Laura Molineux, Rachel Lynch and Cheryl McCann were on hand in the 8 March session to give general advice to anyone in the sector who posed a question. More detailed advice is available to members of Nautilus International by contacting the yacht team directly, especially if they need help with a specific problem or need legal advice and assistance.

Video answers recorded by the yacht team are available on Nautilus's Instagram account, here, and the written transcript is provided below.

Instagram Q&As

1. Why does the war between Ukraine and Russia impact crew on yachts?

In light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a number of Russian oligarchs have been named by the EU, UK and USA as individuals to be sanctioned. these sanctions will include their assets, which includes their yachts.

2. What happens to a yacht when it's sanctioned?

It will depend on the jurisdiction and the location of the yacht as to how and what sanctions are applied. It could mean in the first instance that the yacht is detained, meaning ownership of the yacht doesn't change but the yacht cannot leave the port.

3. Who should I speak to if my salary hasn't been paid and the captain is saying 'it's coming'?

Ask your employer now if Russian sanctions relating to Switch payments will affect your salary. If the answer is yes, you should ask what protocols are being put in place to safeguard the crew salary. If you don't receive your salary at the end of the month, you should contact the Nautilus yacht department at yachts@nautilusint.org [Note that we may be unable to help unless you are a member of the Union before any problem occurs].

4. If a Russian yacht wants to head back to Russia and I leave, will I be compensated?

The Warlike Operations Area Committee (WOAC) has declared all Ukrainian, Russian and International Waters north of 44°North in the Black Sea a Warlike Operations Area. It is unlikely yachts will be entering this area, but there are other ways to reach Russia. However, crew must be aware all commercial flights in and out of Russia have been suspended, which would impact repatriation.

We also foresee problems with payments. This is an ongoing situation changing day by day. Contact us for more specific advice.

5. What am I owed if I'm dismissed/laid off due to sanctions on my vessel?

If you are dismissed you are still entitled to your contractual entitlements:

  • salary up to date of termination
  • accrued annual leave
  • outstanding expenses

Be sure to read the terms of your contract.

6. What should I get before leaving a boat? e.g. confirmation of what I'm owed

You should receive a Termination Agreement setting out any outstanding dues. Please check this carefully and do not sign it if there is anything in dispute!

If there is a dispute, contact the Nautilus yacht department.

7. Should we be resigning from all Russian yachts?

This is entirely your own decision; however, if you do decide to resign please do so in accordance with the terms of your contract, making sure to refer to the 'termination clause' and taking note of any required notice period. Your resignation should be made in writing.

8. Is a Russian-owned yacht safe from being seized in the UAE?

Currently, sanctions are being implemented in the UK, EU and USA. We are not aware of sanctions in the UAE at this time, but this is an evolving situation and that can change. The best protection is to be a Nautilus member. Nautilus is the internationally recognised trade union for yacht crew, but to secure our help and advice across the globe, you must be in membership. We are offering discounted membership for yacht crew for the rest of March.

9. Why should I join Nautilus?

We are only able to give general advice here. If you need individual advice and support for your particular case, you must be a full member.


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