Alcohol is not permitted on board

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed aboard SIO-operated research vessels.

No person may bring, posses or consume alcohol aboard an SIO-operated research vessel. No person should report for duty while under the influence of alcohol whether the vessel is in port or at sea. The Master of the vessel is legally authorized and empowered to search any part of the ship at any time for alcoholic beverages or any other contraband (based on reasonable suspicion). Any person in violation of this policy is subject to immediate removal from the ship as well as additional actions that may include, but are not limited to, administrative actions involving the person involved, their research group, their employer, their funding agency, and UNOLS.

Chief Scientists are responsible for the behavior of all members of the scientific party, under authority delegated by the Master. Chief Scientists must ensure that all members of the scientific party are aware of the rules, and take action to ensure compliance and report any violations to the Master.

Additional details regarding authority, responsibility and special circumstances regarding alcohol are contained within the complete SIO alcohol policy, which is posted aboard each SIO ship as part of our shipboard Safety Management System.

Illegal drugs are not permitted on board

All illegal drugs are forbidden on SIO-operated vessels.

The vessel Master is empowered to conduct searches of personal effects as well as any space aboard ship based on reasonable suspicion that illegal substances may be present. Narcotic detector dogs will be used on a random and unannounced basis. If illegal drugs are found on any SIO vessel, the person(s) responsible will immediately be turned over to the proper authorities.

SIO vessels comply with United States federal regulations governing possession and/or use of illegal or controlled substances. These policies are fully described in SIO’s shipboard Safety Management System (MSM 6, MSP 723, MSP 726).

Marijuana in not permitted on board

Several states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana.  However, this drug remains a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance under Federal guidelines.  Therefore the possession or use of marijuana in any form is prohibited aboard SIO-operated vessels.

Your agreement to comply

Everyone who embarks aboard a research vessel operated by Scripps is required to affirm that they understand and will abide by our policies regarding drugs, alcohol, and the prevention of harassment.   Prior to sailing, all participants will be asked to read, sign, and return a Drug, Alcohol & Sexual Harassment (DASH) form that contains the information described below.  DASH forms are available on the Ship Scheduling Portal, which all participants access as part of their cruise preparation. Forms are also available from the Scripps Ship Scheduling Office (

Who must file? All members of scientific parties aboard SIO-operated research vessels. A signed DASH form is valid for one year for use aboard all SIO-operated ships.

When to file: Two weeks prior to ship sailing, or as directed by your chief scientist.

Where to file: Email your signed form to the SIO Ship Scheduling Office (

Purpose: To inform you of SIO's no-tolerance policies regarding alcohol, illegal drugs and sexual harassment aboard SIO-operated research vessels, and to secure your commitment to abide by these policies. Scripps Institution of Oceanography is committed to creating and maintaining a safe, healthy and harassment-free environment. As part of this commitment, we do not tolerate alcohol, illegal drugs or sexual harassment aboard SIO-operated research vessels. The policies described below comply with Federal and California state law, UC San Diego policy, and University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) policies. Violation of these policies may result in dismissal from the vessel as well as other disciplinary actions involving the person involved, their research group, their employer, and their funding agency.

How this information will be used. Your signature indicates your understanding of, and agreement to abide by, the rules described here. Your signed form will be kept on file for one year, and may be re-used aboard any SIO-operated ship during that period.

Questions? If you have questions regarding these policies, please contact the SIO Ship Scheduling Office (

Disputes. Disputes will be referred to the SIO Associate Director for resolution. We care about your health and safety at sea. If you have any concerns about health and safety on board, please discuss them with your chief scientist prior to your cruise, or while at sea with the chief scientist or ship's captain.

Bruce Appelgate
Associate Director, SIO