Protecting members

Our industry can be a dangerous place, and members face all sorts of potential problems as part of their work.

Certificate protection

Nautilus membership provides you with free financial protection in the event of your certificate being cancelled, suspended or downgraded following a formal inquiry. If you have been involved in an accident, contact the Union immediately for advice and support before being interviewed by the police or other investigation authorities. Payment protection information and amounts are covered in the Rules and Regulations.

Worldwide legal service

Criminalisation of the maritime profession is a big issue. Nautilus provides a global network of lawyers in more than 50 countries who can provide free and expert advice when members need it most. The Union is there when trouble strikes, and has given vital support to members facing criminal charges ranging from manslaughter to breaching the collision prevention regulations.


Although the shipping and inland navigation industry has improved its safety record, workers afloat still suffer much higher work-related death and injury rates than those ashore. Every year, Nautilus International helps to recover large sums in compensation for members who have suffered injuries or ill health as a result of their work. The Union will help to secure compensation for members affected by such conditions as asbestosis, pleural plaques, hearing loss, and other problems which can be shown to be employment-related.

Nautilus also maintains a register of members who believe they may have been exposed to asbestos during their career. This can assist in the event of a claim having to be pursued against a number of employers.

Maritime incidents

Nautilus can provide vital advice and assistance for members involved in maritime accidents and incidents. The Union can arrange representation during interviews with investigation authorities, police and other organisations, as well as at subsequent official inquiries. And we can deliver worldwide support to members encountering employment-related problems such as non-payment of wages.

Employment tribunals

The controversial UK employment tribunal fees have now been abolished, but it is still vitally important for workers to be a member of Nautilus. Even when employees win their cases, they still have to pay their own legal fees, so it can still be costly. For Nautilus members, the fee can be covered if the Union supports your case, which is decided on the basis of whether there are reasonable grounds for success.

Time limits

Members are advised to contact the Union at the earliest opportunity if they have any sort of employment problem. In some personal injury cases, claims can be subject to legal time limits, and need to be made within a strictly defined time frame following an accident or a diagnosis of a work-related injury or illness. The Union's legal experts are well aware of these time limits and can advise members on their options for taking action.

Keep your subscription up to date

Members are strongly advised to ensure that their Nautilus subscriptions are paid up, to avoid any risk of losing the protection that the Union provides to its full members. For the Union to help you, you need to have been a paid-up member (also known as 'being in benefit') at the time an incident happened. 

Become a Nautilus member today