Welcome Aboard

The Miller Freeman is a self-contained community, operating in remote areas. The ship is often required to operate in extreme environmental conditions where people can be severely stressed accomplishing even basic tasks, and where logical conflict solving is impaired. In such situations, a clear and enforceable set of ground rules is advantageous to all hands.

A measure of consideration for one's shipmates is the single most important factor in maintaining shipboard harmony. No set of regulations can offset a lack of tolerance, patience, and common decency among the ship's population.

Adherence to Regulations: All persons boarding this ship give an "IMPLIED CONSENT" to conform to all safety and security policies and regulations which are administered by the Commanding Officer. All spaces and equipment on this ship are subject to inspection or search at any time. A simple summary of shipboard regulations is provided to all new personnel.

You can either choose a specific category from the pull down menu below or scroll through the entire document. Many of the topics covered here are general policies that apply to all ships in the NOAA fleet, these topics can be found on the General Shipboard Policy Information page and are denoted by an asterisk (*). Additional information on some of the topics that is specific to the Miller Freeman is provided here.

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Staffing and Chain of Command

The ship's work force consists of approximately 31 employees plus as many as 11 scientists. The ship's complement is organized into departments whose responsibilities include:

Possession or Use of Alcohol or Illegal Drugs

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Sexual Harassment

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Smoking Restrictions

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Policy for the Miller Freeman:

Smoking is allowed on weather decks. Butts shall be extinguished and discarded in trash receptacles, NOT over the side.

Smoking is prohibited:

Chewing tobacco: Chewing tobacco is permitted as long as spit is disposed of in a hygienic method. No spitting is permitted except into disposable cups. Contents will be washed down head before cup is disposed in trash.

Underway Shipboard Emergencies

Fire or Flooding

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Procedure for the Miller Freeman:

If fire or flooding is seen, pull the handle on the closest fire emergency pull-box, notify the bridge immediately and report the location and type of fire (combustible, electrical or flammable liquids) or extent of flooding. DO NOT attempt to handle the situation without first notifying the bridge.

Abandon Ship

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Man Overboard

Witnessed Man Overboard-Actions of the Witness

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Procedure for the Miller Freeman:

If someone is seen falling overboard, throw the nearest life ring, pass the word, "Man Overboard", indicating which side of the ship, and continue to point toward the victim until picked up.

Unwitnessed Man Overboard

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Drills at Sea

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Information for the Miller Freeman:

Conduct: It is of paramount importance that drills be conducted in an alert, conscientious fashion with attention given to potential flaws in emergency procedures. Any suggestions for improvement should be brought to the attention of the Damage Control Officer or XO immediately after securing from drills.

Procedures: All hands should read and understand all emergency procedures. Drills are established for fire and collision, abandon ship, and man overboard situations. Each person should know their station and be proficient in the duties assigned to them. Emergency station billets are posted in the main deck passageway (outside the ET shop) and in the Mess Deck passageway (by the Library). Your stateroom is equipped with a life jacket and survival suit for each occupant. Know where they are stowed and how to don them.

Frequency: Fire and abandon ship drills are conducted weekly; man overboard drills are conducted quarterly. Fire stations should be manned without life jackets. All hands should report to their abandon ship stations with their survival suit and wearing a hat, coat, gloves and life jacket.

Liferaft locations:

Liferafts 1, 3, 5 & 7
Starboard side, 01 Level (Boat Deck), forward of RHIB.
Liferafts 2, 4, 6 & 8
Port side, 01Level (Boat Deck), forward of work boat.

Working on Deck

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Working Hours

Working Hours: Working hours for day workers are 0730 to 1130 and 1200 to 1600. If sick and unable to report to work, personnel must contact their supervisor, the Executive Officer or Commanding Officer before 0800.

Overtime is paid in accordance with the various union agreements. All overtime work must be approved in advance by the XO.

Meal Hours and Use of the Ship's Mess

Mess Deck Attire: No dirty or wet clothing, foul weather gear, or boots are allowed on the mess decks. No sleeveless shirts or hats are allowed during meal hours. Napping or sleeping is prohibited at all times on the Mess Decks.

Meal hours, at sea and in port, are as follows:


Avoid ordering food during the last 15 minutes of the meal period and notify the XO or Chief Steward as far in advance as possible if a late meal is required. Early meals will be served to watch personnel. A night lunch is available for all hands in the crew's mess refrigerator. The galley refrigerator and cabinets are off-limits.

Medical Care

There are numerous first-aid kits distributed throughout the ship. Notify the Medical Officer if their use is required.

One of the least pleasant aspects of going to sea is the possibility of seasickness. Information concerning seasickness can be found in the General Shipboard Policy Information.


Visitors, as guests, are welcome aboard while the ship is alongside. Ship personnel (including the scientific party) shall be responsible for the conduct of their guests while aboard and in the event of a disturbance may be asked to escort their guests ashore. Underway passengers must be authorized by the Director, Marine Operations Center, Pacific (MOP).

Restricted Areas

Do not visit the engine room without permission of the engineer on watch; the OOD shall secure permission. Avoid the Bridge when the ship is maneuvering in restricted waters and when entering or leaving port. At night, avoid exposing the bridge watch to white light.

Avoid the weather decks during periods of heavy seas and/or ice accumulation. Contact the Bridge if you must work outside and exercise extreme caution.

Do not climb the forward or after masts, bipod, gantry, or other deck apparatus without permission of the OOD.

Firearms and Other Weapons

This policy applies to all ships in the NOAA fleet, see General Shipboard Policy Information.

Staterooms and Berthing

Staterooms: Individual staterooms are considered restricted or private areas unless visitors are invited aboard or on official business. When a stateroom is visited for official business or socially, the stateroom door should be secured in an open position for the duration of the visit. Should the door be closed, all hands are reminded that all shipboard prohibited activities remain in effect regardless of the privacy afforded by one's stateroom. Disciplinary action for violations of any shipboard policies and regulations or behavior which negatively affects the ship's good order and discipline shall be swift and sure.

Berthing: Berthing assignments are based on the approved berthing plan and the Executive Officer's discretion. Each person is responsible for the cleanliness and maintenance of their stateroom and the secure stowage of their belongings. The XO, together with the Chief Boatswain and Chief Engineer, make periodic, announced inspections of all quarters for the purpose of ensuring material maintenance and sanitation. The Commanding Officer makes monthly Command Inspections of all spaces.

Shipboard Communications

The Miller Freeman is equipped with several types of communication systems for communications off the ship. The communication methods and policy for using this equipment is described in the following. For more details on the listed equipment, see the Ship Communication Systems Page.

Specific information on how to contact the Miller Freeman and all other fleet vessels can be found on the Fleet Telephone page.

E-mail Policy

At sea, e-mail is sent and received by the onboard INMARSAT B and Mini M systems. In recent years the proliferation of electronic mail (e-mail) and the reduction of INMARSAT costs have permitted the sending of nominal amounts of personal e-mail when transmitted with official ship's business. The availability of e-mail services is a valuable quality of life issue aboard ship. Accordingly, a complimentary amount of personal use will be permitted for all personnel aboard.

At the current time, the complimentary amount established by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations is set at $1.50 (15 KB of data) per person per day. $1.50 per day may be accumulated over a period of no more than one month, such that one person will be allowed $45 per month for e-mail transmission costs. There is no provision for payment to a person who does not utilize the complimentary amount.

It should be understood that the cost of personal e-mail being transmitted from shore to an individual aboard ship will be charged against that individual's complimentary amount. A detailed billing statement will be issued periodically to any individual or Chief Scientist whose costs have exceeded his or his group's monthly entitlement. All costs in excess of an individual's or group's complimentary amount must be reimbursed. When personal use cannot be easily distinguished from official business, the amount of reimbursement will equal the total cost, minus the complimentary amount.

Each embarked personnel will have an e-mail account/address established by the Lead Electronic Technician (LET) at the time of arrival.

Satellite Communications

INMARSAT-B (voice and fax) and INMARSAT-Mini M (voice) communications are available aboard ship and may be used for personal or business related calls. Arrangements to pay for the calls must be made prior to calling. Credit card calls are the preferred method of payment. INMARSAT calls can be extremely expensive and the exact cost may not be known until you receive your bill. If you do not have a credit card and need to make an INMARSAT call, arrangements to pay by personal check may be arranged with the XO. Brevity is encouraged. See the Lead Electronic Technician (LET) for any questions regarding the use of these phones. All requests for INMARSAT calls, whether for official or personal business, will require the approval of the XO or CO.

Ship's Phone Services

The ship's telephone is primarily used for ship's business. When in port and using the ship's telephone for personal calls, be brief to avoid tying up lines. Long distance personal calls must be paid for by the individual making the call. Phone numbers for the Miller Freeman can be found on the Fleet Telephone page.

Cell Phone

The ship carries a cell phone for ships business when in range of a cell. Use of the phone will be on a pay basis and require the approval of the CO or XO. Personnel are encouraged to bring their own cell phones if the project will be in the area of land based cells.

High Frequency (HF) Radio

For emergencies, the vessel maintains 24-hour contact with the nearest Coast Guard station and other vessels at sea. The radio is available for project use if needed for communicating with shore stations.

Ship's Mail

A letter drop is located in the passageway outside of the Ship's Office. Mail is sent out at every opportunity. Use the following address for your mail:

Your Name
NOAA Ship Miller Freeman
1801 Fairview Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98102-3767

Mail received at the Marine Center will be periodically forwarded to the ship's next port of call.


Bare/stocking feet are not allowed outside staterooms because of the risk of injury from slipping on wet decks, other hazards, and hygiene. Open-toed shoes, may be worn during off-duty hours ONLY and ONLY in non-working, interior spaces.

Work Clothing: When conducting operations, personnel involved with the deployment and recovery of scientific equipment, or the launching and recovery of small boats, are required to wear hard hats and flotation devices. All employees are encouraged to wear safety shoes or boots. Standard work clothing requirements for rated and nonrated vessel personnel are listed in the various union agreements and PMC Directive 91-30. No hats, and/or rain gear is permitted on the mess deck.

Laundry, Linens, and Water Conservation

Laundry: The ship's laundry (including soap, bleach and fabric softener sheets) is available to all hands 24 hours a day, unless secured because of heavy weather, water restrictions or repairs. Please be considerate of your shipmates when doing laundry by removing clothing from the washers and dryers in a timely manner.

Linens: Clean linen (flat sheet, fitted sheet and pillow case) and towels will be provided to all embarked personnel upon their arrival. Linen call is once a week.

Marine Sanitation System

The vessel is equipped with a sewage treatment system. Only biodegradable waste should be discarded down any sink drain or toilet.

Shipboard Computers

Computers are available throughout the ship for use by all embarked personnel. Remember, mission support is the computers' highest priority followed by personal use.

Any software that is brought on board for either mission use or personal use must be scanned for viruses prior to its use. Failure to do so may result in a virus being inadvertently introduced to the ship's computers with catastrophic results. Do not reconfigure any of the ship's computers or install any software on a computer without first checking with the LET or Chief Survey Technician. Copies of software licensing agreements must be available on board. All software installed on the ship's computers at the beginning of a project must be removed at the completion of that project unless authorization to the contrary has been obtained from the Command.

Videotape Movies

Videotapes are available for showing throughout the day on the ship's TV system while away from home port. Television is prohibited in the Crew's Lounge during meals hours.

Exercise Room

Miller Freeman's exercise room is equipped with a universal gym, rowing machine, treadmill, cycling exerciser, exercise pads, and weights which can be used at any time. Clanging weights, loud music, or other loud noises should be avoided between 2200 and 0700.

Recreational Fishing

Policy: In accordance with NOAA Administrative Order No. 202-735B (eff. 01/09/89), all shellfish and fish taken in the course of fisheries research (by trawl, longline, gillnet, purse seine or pot) are the property of the U.S. Government.

Consumption of Fish: Fish taken during the course of fisheries research, not required for scientific samples, that will not survive being returned to the water, may be retained for consumption aboard the ship. No fish taken during the course of fisheries research shall be used for "home packs".

Donation to Charity: Fish in excess of the needs of the crew for consumption aboard the vessel may be donated to an appropriate charity. A request from the charitable organization for donations of fish must be sent to the Commanding Officer on the organization's letterhead stationary. A name, address and phone number for a point of contact must be included along with a description of the organization. Also include a statement that the organization will accept fish which has not been cleaned or handled using Federal standards.

The Commanding Officer must receive an acknowledgement of receipt of the fish by the organization.

Sport Fishing: Personnel wishing to sport fish from this ship or its launches must show a current state fishing license and provide a copy of the current state fishing regulations to the Executive Officer. At that time the person will be placed on a ship's authorized fishing list for that state. When possible the CO will acquire fishing licenses that can be sold while underway. This is generally true in the State of Alaska during the field season.

Retention: All catch taken by sport fishing methods may be retained providing that it was caught in conformance with local regulations, including those for season, number, size limitations and possession limits. The catch may be taken ashore provided that it is in conformance with local laws of that port.

The catch may be stored in the specimen freezer IAW policy dated 5/17/99 (Section 11). Please contact the Chief Survey Technician or XO for any questions on storage.

Preparation: All shellfish and fish retained aboard the ship must be cleaned and prepared for eating or frozen within 4 hours (within 6 hours if the air temperature is below 40 degrees F). If frozen, fish should be stored in sealed plastic bags in the after specimen freezer with the owner's name attached.

Ship's Store

The ship's store is located just aft of the mess deck and will normally be open several times per week for small stores and special order sales.

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•  Updated: August 28, 2008