A seaman from a UK ship has apparently gone absent without leave (“AWOL”) in a foreign port. If he eventually appears at the agent’s office and asks for repatriation, will the employer still be under an obligation to provide for relief maintenance?

Yes, provided the seaman appears within 3 months from the time he was left behind. Where a person left behind outside the UK remains there beyond 3 months, the persons who last employed him as a seaman will not be liable to make provision for his return, or any other matter, after 3 months has elapsed.

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