Work and World

Drugs, Sex And Death On Billionaires’ Mega Yachts | Informer

So I’m a deckhand on a super yacht. I basically get paid
to travel around the world working for billionaires. From the Instagram
and Snapchat stories, everyone seems to think that you’ve
got the coolest job in the world. The reality of it is that you are
clearing up rooms that have just had sex parties, orgies, prostitutes. Coke residue on the tables
the next day. Veal or livestock so fresh that it actually gets flown in
on a helicopter, slaughtered on board, and served to the guests
as fresh as can be. Unfortunately, it can
sometimes get a bit seedy, a bit creepy with drunk people who
think they can do whatever they want. These owners, these millionaires, these billionaires,
they’re incredibly powerful people, and a lot of the time,
they get their own way. Drug smuggling
can go on in the industry. If people wanted to be moving
drugs and illicit substances, I reckon it’d be pretty easy to do. It’s an incredibly secretive world which no one really knows much about. The guests just use super yachts
as their little playground. They live in this little bubble where they think anything goes,
anything can happen. [Informer] [Super Yacht Deckhand] These yachts are always pretty mad,
particularly the larger ones. They will pretty much always contain
a pool or some sort of hot tub, equipped with a gym. Some of them have cinemas. Some of them have their own spas, helidecks, and will store
a helicopter on board. The cost of these yachts can exceed
anywhere about half a billion pounds. I think some of the most
expensive chartered yachts on the market at the moment
can actually cost four million a week. You do always secretly know that
the people you’re working for haven’t always done
the best things in their lives. I’ve received job offers
for the owner of a boat who is one of the most notoriously
corrupt people on the planet. And during the job interview, the chief officer actually asked me am I morally OK
with who this person is and what he’s done. And you kind of
just have to ask yourself, “Am I OK with this?” The expectations of the guests are
pretty much whatever they ask for, we can deliver to them. As the day tends to go on and the more alcohol
that gets consumed, their expectations go up and our ability to deliver goes down. Sexual harassment definitely
does go on in the industry. You do hear quite a few stories which make the hairs
on the back of your neck stand up. There is a sexual element to the job,
100 percent. It’s a very superficial industry that a lot of boats will
only hire on the way you look and what waist size you are or what dress size you are,
et cetera. I think they can forget
that you’re here for work, you’re not here
to be violated in any way. The victims of these
cases are paid off. They’re told to
keep their mouths shut in order for their bonuses or perks. It gives the people
this right to think that they can get away with anything. There have been a few
serious incidents in super yachting that have gone wrong
and actually led to fatalities. One of the most famous ones
in the industry was actually an anchor chain
coming loose. The chain span around
in what’s called the mooring bay, which is the forward section
of the boat called the bow. The chain span around and actually took the leg off
one of the officers, and unfortunately,
he bled to death and died. Basically, you’ve just got to
stay really switched on at all times, which can be a big part
of the reason why working in the industry
can make you so tired and run down. I did a pretty long stint
working on a charter boat. It was nearly 130 days of season,
back-to-back charters, and within that time,
we only had one day off. At the end of that,
when I actually left that boat, I felt like I was ready
to leave the industry because it was
just killing me, essentially. You can burn out really quickly. And you can look at guys who are, you know, they’ve been
in yachting for ten years or so, and they look pretty weathered. Their skin’s destroyed by the sun. The lack of sleep
has just f***ed them over. And it can really have quite
a physical effect on your body, and it’s pretty visible. The reason that we’re so busy
is because obviously we only have a certain number
of crew cabins on board. You’re always in a cabin for two, if not four on some bigger boats, and if not six
on some super large ones. Cabin fever is definitely,
definitely a real thing. You can feel cooped up
like a caged animal sometimes, and personal space
becomes a serious issue. Working in yachting definitely teaches you
a lot of mental fortitude. You know, you work
very long hours with little rest, and that teaches you
how to be resilient and just kind of push on,
push on through. Obviously, there are some negative
effects on your mental health. I don’t really understand
the mindset of a billionaire, but when a lot of money is involved,
it changes people, and I think it always
brings out the worst in a lot of people’s personalities.
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