Law reaching Brisbane the Captain


Law reaching Brisbane the Captain

Barry is a sailor on a boat that sails from Melbourne up the east coast to Brisbane. He is paid a wage for his services which include him cleaning cooking and assisting the captain in navigating the boat. Whilst on their journey up the east coast one of the other sailors deserts the ship. Apparently the other sailor decided that the bright lights of Sydney were more to his taste than remaining on board as a sailor.

The Captain explained to Barry that if he remained on board the boat and did not desert like the other sailor he would pay Barry the other sailor’s wages. Barry was excited to get the extra money but was unclear as to the Captain’s intentions. He asked the captain whether he had to do anything extra for his extra pay and the Captain replied, “Well lad, just make sure everything is ship shape, just like you had to do before. If you stay on board you can have a job on the return journey.” Barry thought that this was a good deal and stayed on board for the balance of the journey.

On reaching Brisbane the Captain (who was obviously a very untrustworthy individual) refused to pay Barry the extra wages of the sailor that deserted.

Barry urgently seeks your advice on whether he can sue under contract law for the extra wages. Advise Barry. In your answer discuss whether promissory estoppel could be used by Barry to assist in his claim for the extra wages.

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