Can skimmers still drink at sea?

Now V boats are dry and I believe fleet boats can only drink once they touch the wall I was wondering are skimmers still allowed to drink at sea? And if so whats everyones bets on how long until they can't?


Captains discretion at the moment I believe, I was on quite a few different platforms recently whilst at MCTA and remember that one or two were dry due to the skipper, but the fridge was still open on many others.

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Captains discretion at the moment I believe, I was on quite a few different platforms recently whilst at MCTA and remember that one or two were dry due to the skipper, but the fridge was still open on many others.

Posted from the Navy Net mobile app (Android / iOS)
So not long until its banned outright then.
This new law I don't think can withstand the service test, as it is so open to interpretation that in the end our boats CO decided that everyone is safety essential as anyone can find a fire, flood etc therefore we went dry. A rule / law should be applied fairly and equally to all with no room to wriggle. One CO goes one way with the rule and others another way, who wants a swap draft to the party boat? Yes please.
Leaving it to the CO's discretion is, in my humble opinion, bloody ridiculous and is clearly the thin end of the going septic wedge. I remember Gen Mike Jackson stating many years ago that to fight with Americans, we don't have to fight like them. I see this as the other side of the same coin. Funny how when the septic head shed of "Camp Bastion" decreed that thou shalt not imbibe alcohol, nobody Brit side explained reality to him.

Bloody joke.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
New powers to test for drugs and alcohol were introduced on 1 November 2013 for the Commanding Officer to test service personnel if they have reasonable cause to believe that a person their command is unfit to undertake safety-critical duties. These powers are based broadly on the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 which allows testing for alcohol and drugs in the civilian maritime and aviation industries but which does not cover a range of safety-critical duties undertaken by the Armed Forces.

Safety-critical duties are defined as any duty which carries a risk of death, serious injury, serious damage to property or the environment if performed whilst impaired by alcohol or drugs. The list of prescribed safety-critical duties with their corresponding alcohol limits, which was produced and agreed between the three Services and approved by Parliament in early 2013, can be found in 2013DIN01-212.

The majority of prescribed safety-critical duties have an alcoholic limit which is the same as the UK drink-drive limit; a recognised and easily understood benchmark. Such duties include duty personnel on HM ships, personnel carrying out or supervising aircraft maintenance and drivers or commanders of mechanically propelled vehicles. A second and much lower alcohol limit has been set for duties that require a heightened speed of reaction in an emergency situation, for example when handling weapons or piloting an aircraft, which requires service personnel to have no ingested alcohol in their systems.

The Service Police will administer these tests which could involve taking samples of breath, blood or urine depending on the circumstances and positive test results can be used in evidence in disciplinary proceedings. In addition to the existing offence of Unfit or Misconduct through Alcohol or Drugs (Section 20 Armed Forces Act 2006) new offences for exceeding the alcohol limit for prescribed safety-critical duties and failing or refusing to provide samples have been created.

At the time the new powers were created, Chief of Defence Personnel Lieutenant-General Andrew Gregory said, “All Servicemen and women have an individual responsibility to be in a fit state to carry out their duties, whatever that duty might be. These new powers to test for alcohol and drugs, which are similar to existing powers in the professional aviation and maritime industries, will provide an effective deterrent against misconduct when duties are safety-critical and the associated risks to life and limb of being impaired are much greater.”

Further details, including the full list of prescribed safety-critical duties, their corresponding limits and methods of testing can be found in 2013DIN01-212 and Chapter 6 of JSP 835 (Alcohol and Substance Misuse and Testing) (Defence Gateway only).


Higher Alcohol Levels
The majority of safety-critical duties fall into the higher alcohol limit for testing of breath, blood or urine and are exactly the same as those for driving in the UK.

The higher limits are:
Breath – 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres.
Blood – 80 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres.
Urine – 107 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres.

Lower Alcohol Levels
Some safety-critical duties require a heightened speed of reaction in an emergency situation and therefore are subject to a lower alcohol limit.

The higher limits are:
Breath – 9 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres.
Blood – 20 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres.
Urine – 277 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres.
It would help if people didn't get so shitfaced, at sea, that they had to be turned in the following morning unfit to do their duties.

Alcohol at sea is a true "use it sensibly or lose it" situation; far too many matelots want to be on a "party boat".....


War Hero
It's an interesting one.

There will always be those that kick the arse out of it - either ashore before they sail the next day or abuse the "privilege".

One thing I would say is that I believe the mob is moving away from the old style heavy drinking culture - years back a beer of a lunchtime wasn't considered unusual, channel night was mayhem and every sports team that won was rewarded with a slab of beer.

Spin forward and the troops today still enjoy the social aspect ashore, but it tends to be more of a binge drinking culture. In any case, drinking ashore is proportionately far more expensive than it has ever been. Maybe that's a good thing looking at national civilian drink related offences.

One thing that stands out for me is that I reckon a disproportionate amount of young matelots smoke in relation to their civilian peers and this is undoubtedly due to availability/cost.

The mob is, as ever, a bloody paradox - they want everyone to be uber-fit upon joining because the PTIs are presumably no longer employed to help get people fit in initial training - even though it's now ten weeks long as opposed to six, eight or nine weeks.
I would not be surprised if drinking in Operational Theatres (KIPION, FIs, maybe a few other places) will be banned soon. SgtP will have greater knowledge than me, but the last 2 deployments I had, every single disciplinary offence was either alcohol related (fighting, direct dis, damage to property, unseemly conduct ashore) or alcohol was a significant* aggravating factor (adrift, shagging on-board, adrift, more adrift, even more adrift).

As I've said before, it's up to everyone to either be sensible or to lose it. And that's everyone, Wardroom, CPO's Mess, PO's Mess and the Messdecks, to be sensible.

*i.e. increased the punishment. Contrary to popular thought, saying "I was drunk" never, ever, makes things better at a table!
A litre of beer/day for JRs, sliding scale up to everything for the Wardroom. Invariably the POs Mess are the biggest drinkers/partyers. Which is why it's highly amusing we put the cabins for the 4 most senior SRs right next door to them (on a T23 that is).
Going back a few years, being the only Doc on board it was always a case of "leave the wall - no alcohol" until we tied back up alongside. Been pulled out of my rack at "Oh God its Dark o'clock" to sort out someone who'd taken a tumble or needed several homeward bounders to stop the contents of his head leaking to even contemplate risking it ... and that was even before the breathalyser rules etc came in. It was always there if I wanted it ... just never bothered.

But yes ... there were some who kicked the backside out of it - 3 pints and 2 shorts was an allowance not a target!
Just post tot, the allowance was 2 cans per man per day, 2 x 440ml of weak piss. Not many people bothered buying the shite, we preferred the occasional eighth of Moroccan Gold.:tongue3:
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