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the number of able seamen required by this section to be shipped or employed upon any vessel.
Any person may make application to any board of local inspectors for a certificate of service as able seaman, and upon proof being made to said board by affidavit and examination, under rules approved by the Secretary of Commerce, showing the nationality and age of the applicant and the vessel or vessels on which he has had service and that he is entitled to such certificate under the provisions of this section, the board of local inspectors shall issue to said applicant a certificate of service, which shall be retained by him and be accepted as prima facie evidence of his rating as an able seaman.
Each board of local inspectors shall keep a complete record of all certificates of service issued by them and to whom issued and shall keep on file the affidavits upon which said certificates are issued.
The collector of customs may, upon his own motion, and shall, upon the sworn information of any reputable citizen of the United States setting forth that this section is not being complied with cause a muster of the crew of any vessel to be made to determine the fact; and no clearance shall be given to any vessel failing to comply with the provisions of this section: Provided, That the collector of customs shall not be required to cause such muster of the crew to be made unless said sworn information has been filed with him for at least six hours before the vessel departs, or is scheduled to depart: Provided further, That any person that shall knowingly make a false affidavit for such purpose shall be deemed guilty of perjury and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, within the discretion of the court. Any violation of any provision of this section by the owner, master, or officer in charge of the vessel shall subject the owner of such vessel to a penalty of not less than $100 and not more than $500: And provided further, That the Secretary of Commerce shall make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, and nothing herein shall be held or construed to prevent the Board of Supervising Inspectors, with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce, from making rules and regulations authorized by law as to vessels excluded from the operation of this section. (Mar. 4, 1915; sec. 13.) (Effective on American vessels beginning Nov. 4, 1915; on vessels of foreign nations not covered by treaties
Mar. 4, 1916; on vessels of other foreign nations after termination of treaties.)
In case of desertion or casualty resulting in the loss of one or more of the seamen, the master must ship, if obtainable, a number equal to the number of those whose services he has been deprived of by desertion or casualty, who must be of the same or higher grade or rating with those whose places they fill, and report the same to the United States consul at the first port at which he shall arrive, without incurring the penalty prescribed by the two preceding sections. This section shall not apply to fishing or whaling vessels or yachts. (R. S., 4516; Dec. 21, 1898; sec. 1; Mar. 4, 1915; sec. I.) (Effective beginning Nov. 4, 1915.) Fellow-servant clause. In
any suit to recover damages for any injury sustained on board vessel or in its service seamen having command shall not be held to be fellow-servants with those under their authority. (Mar. 4, 1915; sec. 20.) (Effective beginning Nov. 4, 1915.)
If any person knowingly sends or attempts to send or is party to the sending or attempting to send an American ship to sea, in the foreign or coastwise trade, in such an unsean
aworthy state that the life of any person is likely to be thereby endangered, he shall, in respect of each offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not to exceed five years, or both, at the discretion of the court, unless he proves that either he used all reasonable means to insure her being sent to sea in a seaworthy state, or that her going to sea in an unseaworthy state was, under circumstances, reasonable and justifiable, and for the purposes of giving that proof he may give evidence in the same manner as any other witness. [This section shall not apply to fishing or whaling vessels or yachts.-Dec. 21, 1898, sec. 26; Dec. 21, 1898; sec. 11.)
War risk insurance.
Sec. 30. That whenever it shall appear to the Secretary of the Treasury that the effecting of such insurance is desirable in the national interest in the case of vessels engaged in any trade, the owner of every American merchant vessel engaged in such trade shall insure the master, officers, and crew of such vessel against loss of life or personal injury from war risks as well as for compensation during detention by an enemy of the United States following capture.
Such insurance shall be effected either with the Bureau of War Risk Insurance or in insurance companies, and on terms satisfactory to the Secretary of the Treasury.
“Such insurance shall provide, and the Bureau of War Risk Insurance is authorized to write policies so providing
“(a) In case of death, permanent disability which prevents the person injured from performing any and every kind of duty pertaining to his occupation, or the loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, or both eyes, or any two thereof, for the payment of an amount equivalent to one year's earnings, or to twelve times the monthly earnings of the insured, as fixed in the articles for the voyage (hereinafter referred to as the principal sum), but in no case shall such amount be more than $5000 or less than $1500;
“ (b) In case of any of the following losses, for the payment of the percentage of the principal sum indicated in the following tables:
One hand, fifty per centum;
One foot, fifty per centum;
That the Bureau of War Risk Insurance may include in its policy undertakings to pay specified percentages of the principal sum for other losses or disabilities; and
“ (c) In case of detention by an enemy of the United States, following capture, for the payment during the continuance of such detention of compensation at the same rate as the earnings of the insured immediately preceding such detention, to be determined in substantially the same manner as provided in subdivision (a) of this section.
The aggregate payments under this section in respect to any one person shall not exceed the amount of the principal sum.
“Payments provided for in this section shall be made only to the master, officer, or member of the crew concerned, except that a payment for loss of life shall be made to the estate of the insured for distribution to his family free from liability of debt, and payment on account of detention by an enemy following capture shall be made to dependents of the person detained, if designated by him.
No claim under this section shall be valid unless made by the master, officer, member of the crew concerned, his estate, or a person designated under this section, within two years after the date on which the President suspends the operations of this Act in so far as it authorizes insurance by the United States." SEC. 36. That in the event of failure of the owner of any
vessel to effect insurance of the master, officers, and crew of such vessel prior to sailing, in accordance with section three a of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to effect such insurance with the Bureau of War Risk Insurance at the expense of the owner of such vessel, and the latter shall be liable for such expense, and, in addition, to a penalty of not exceeding $1000. The amount of such premium, with interest and of the penalty and of all costs, shall be a lien on the vessel.” (June 12, 1917.)
DISCIPLINE AT SEA
Authority, to some minds, means oppression and injustice; people so constituted should stay ashore; a ship has no use for them—they simply cannot get along.
The orderly man lives his life aboard ship with the greatest freedom.
Discipline at sea is largely a matter of common sense. Officers who know their business have very little trouble in achieving perfect discipline. The laws governing lack of ability bear hard on the man who has shipped to do work he is not qualified for. The disturber has a hard time when handled by a Master who knows the law and his authority.
The laws relating to offenses on board ship are appended, not as guide to crime, but to inform the seaman of the fact that the iag and the laws of the land follow the ship out beyond the three-mile limit.
Some officers have a way with them that carries along the work of the vessel without friction and with the utmost amount of dispatch. These officers know their business thoroughly. They are absolutely just, which means that the slacker and malingerer are given the full brunt of disapproval. The “coming down” on a loafer, good and hard, helps more to bring forth respect for an officer than anything else. When this is coupled by even-handed justice, and a human way of doing things, such as looking out for the comfort of their men, a happy vessel is bound to be the result.
Seamen like nothing better than to know that they are under officers who will run things on the level. It is like being under a decent government that helps the weak and