20170704

SEA, SEA LETTER, SEA BRIEF

    4.7.17  

SEA. The ocean; the great mass of waters which surrounds the land, and which probably extends from pole to pole, covering nearly three quarters of the globe. Waters within the ebb and flow of the tide, are to be considered the sea. Gilp. R. 526.
2. The sea is public and common to all people, and every person has an equal right to navigate it, or to fish there; Ang. on Tide Wat. 44 to 49; Dane's Abr. c. 68, a. 3, 4; Inst. 2, 1, 1; and to land upon the sea, shore. (q. v.)
3. Every nation has jurisdiction to the distance of a cannon shot, (q, v.) or marine league, over the water adjacent to its shore. 2 Cranch, 187, 234; 1 Circuit Rep. 62; Bynk. Qu. Pub. Juris. 61; 1 Azuni Mar. Law, 204; Id. 185; Vattel, 207:
SEA LETTER OR SEA BRIEF, maritime law. A document which should be found on board of every neutral ship; it specifies the nature and quantity of the cargo, the place from whence it comes, and its destination. Chit. Law of Nat. 197; 1 John. 192.
SEA SHORE, property. That space of land, on the border of the sea, which is alternately covered and left dry, by the rising and falling of the tide or, in other words, that space of land between high and low water mark. Hargr, Tr. 12; 6 Mass. 435, 439; 1 Pick. 180, 182; 5 Day, 22.
2. Generally, the sea shore belongs to the public. Angell on Tide Wat. 34, 5; 3 Kent's Com. 347.
3. By the Roman law, the shore included the land as far as the greatest wave extended in winter; est autem littus, maris, quatenus hibernus, fluctus maximus excurrit. Inst. lib. 2, t. 1, s. 3. Littus publicum est eatenus qua maxime fluctus exaestuat. Dig., lib, 50, t. 16, s. 112.
4. The Civil Code of Louisiana seems to have followed the law of the Insti-tutes and the Digest, for it enacts, art. 442, that the "sea shore is that space, of land over which the waters of the sea are spread in the highest water, during the winter season." Vide. 5 Rob. Adm. R. 182; Dougl. 425; 1 Halst. R. 1; 2 Roll. Ab. 170; Dyer, 326; 5 Co. 107; Bac. Ab., Courts of Admiralty,, A; 1 Am. Law Mag. 76; 16 Pet. R. 234, 367 Ang. on Tide Waters, Index, tit. Shore; 2 Bligh's N, S. 146; 5 M. & W. 327 Merl. Quest. de Droit, mots Rivage de la Mer; Inst. 2, 1, 2; 22 Maine, R. 350. For the law of Mass. vide Dane's Ab. c. 68, a 3, 4.
SEA WEED. A species of grass which grows in the sea.
2. When cast upon land, it belongs to the owner of the land adjoining the sea shore; upon the grounds, that it increases gradually, that it is useful as manure and a protection to the ground, and that it is some compensation for the encroachments of the sea upon the land. 2 John. R. 313, 323. Vide 5 Verm. R. 223.
3. The French differs from our law in this respect, as sea weeds there, when cast on the beach, belong to the first occupant. Dall. Dict. Propriete, art. 3, §2, n. 128.
SEA WORTHINESS, mer. law. The ability of a ship or other vessel to make a sea voyage with probable safety: there is, in every insurance, whether on ship or goods, an implied warranty that the ship shall be worthy when she sails on the voyage insured; that is, that she shall be "tight, staunch, and strong, properly manned, provided with all necessary stores, and in all respects fit for the intended voyage." Marsh. Ins. 153 2 Phil. Ev. 60 10 Johns. R. 58.
2. The following rules have been established in regard, to the warranty of sea-worthiness.
3. - 1. That it is of no consequence whether the insured was aware of the condition of the ship, or not. His innocence or ignorance is no answer to the fact that the ship was not sea-worthy.
4. - 2. - The opinion of carpenters who have repaired the vessel, however they may strengthen the presumption that the ship is sea-worthy, when it is favorable, is not conclusive of the fact of sea-worthiness. 4 Dow's Rep. 269.
5. - 3. The presumption, prima facie, is for sea-worthiness. 1 Dow's R. 336; And it is presumed that a vessel continues sea-worthy, if she was so at the inception of the risk. 20 Pick. 389. See 1 Brev. 252.
6. - 4. Any sort of disrepair left in the ship, by which she, or the cargo may suffer, is a breach of the warranty of sea-worthiness.
7. - 5. A deficiency of force in the crew, or of skill in the master, mate, &c., is a want of sea-worthiness. 1 Campb. 1; 14 East, R. 481. But if there was once a sufficient crew, their temporary absence will not be considered a breach of the warranty. 2 Barn. & Ald. 73; 1 John. Cas. 184; 1 Pet. 183.
8. - 6. A vessel may be rendered not sea-worthy by being overloaded. 2 Barn. & Ald . 320.
9. - 7. When the sea-worthiness arises from justifiable ignorance of the cause of the defect, and is discovered and remedied before any injury occurs, it is not to be considered as a defect. Ib. See, generally, 2 John. 124, 129; 3 John. Cas. 76; 1 John. 241; 1 Caines, 217 3 S. & R. 25 1 Whart. 399.
10. By an act of congress, approved July 20, 1840, as amended, by the act of July 29, 1850, it is provided, that if the first officer, (or a second and third officer,) and a majority of the crew of any vessel, shall make complaint in writing that she is in an unsuitable condition to go to sea, because she is leaky, or insufficiently supplied with sails, rigging, anchors, or any other equipment, or that the crew is insufficient to man her, or that her provisions, stores, and supplies are not, or have not been, during the voyage, sufficient and wholesome, thereupon, in any of these or like cases, the consul or commercial agent who may discharge any duties of a consul shall appoint two disinterested, competent, practical men, acquainted with maritime affairs, to examine into the causes of complaint, who shall, in their report, state what defects and deficiencies, if any they find to be well founded, as well as what, in their judgment ought to be done, to put the vessel in order for the continuance of her voyage.

SEAMAN. A sailor; a mariner; one whose business is navigation. 2 Boulay Paty, Dr. Com. 232; Code de Commerce art. 262; Laws of Oleron, art. 7; Laws of Wishuy, art. 19. The term seamen, in it most enlarged sense, includes the captain a well as other persons of the crew; in a more confined signification, it extends only to the common sailors; 3 Pardes. n. 667; the mate; 1 Pet. Adm. Dee. 246; the cook and steward; 2 Id. 268; are considered, as to their rights to sue in the admiralty, as common seamen; and persons employed on board of steamboats and lighters, engaged in trade or commerce, on tide water, are within the admiralty jurisdiction, while those employed in ferry boats are not. Gilp. R. 203, 532. Persons who do not contribute their aid in navigating the vessel or to its preservation in the course of their occupation, as musicians, are not to be considered as seamen with a right to sue in the admiralty for their wages. Gilp. R. 516, See 1 Bell's Com. 509, 5th ed.; 2 Rob. Adm. R. 232; Dunl. Adm. Pr. h . t.
2. Seamen are employed either in merchant vessels for private service, or in public vessels for the service of the United States.
3. - 1. Seamen in the merchant vessels are required to enter into a contract in writing commonly called shipping articles. (q. v.) This contract being entered into, they are bound under. severe penalties, to render themselves on board the vessel according to the agreement: they are not at liberty to leave the ship without the consent of the captain or commanding officer, and for such absence, when less than forty-eight hours, they forfeit three day's wages for every day of absence; and when the absence is more than forty-eight hours, at one time, they forfeit all the wages due to them, and all their goods and chattels which were on board the vessel, or in any store where they may have been lodged at the time of their desertion, to the use of the owners of the vessel, and they are liable for damages for hiring other hands. They may be imprisoned for desertion until the ship is ready to bail.
4. On board, a seaman is bound to do his duty to the utmost of his ability; and when his services are required for extraordinary exertions, either in consequence of the death of other seamen, Or on account of unforeseen perils, he is not entitled to an increase of wages, although it may have been promised to him. 2 Campb. 317; Peake's N. P. Rep. 72; 1 T. R. 73. For disobedience of orders he may be imprisoned or punished with stripes, but the correction (q. v.) must be reasonable; 4 Mason, 508; Bee, 161; 2 Day, 294; 1 Wash. C. C. R. 316; and, for just cause, may be put ashore in a foreign country. 1 Pet. Adm. R. 186; 2 Ibid. 268; 2 East, Rep. 145. By act of Congress, September 28, 1850, Minot's Stat. at Large, U. S. p. 515, it is provided, that flogging in the navy and on board vessels of commerce, be, and the same is hereby abolished from and after the passage of this act.
5. Seamen are entitled to their wages, of which one-third is due at every port at which the vessel shall unlade and deliver her cargo, before the voyage be ended; and at the end of the voyage an easy and speedy remedy is given them to recover all unpaid wages. When taken sick a seaman is entitled to medical advice and aid at the expense of the ship: such expense being considered in, the nature of additional wages, and as constituting a just remuneration for his labor and services. Gilp. 435, 447; 2 Mason, 541; 2 Mass. R. 541.
6. The right of seamen to wages is founded not in the shipping articles, but in the services performed; Bee, 395; and to recover such wages the seaman has a triple remedy, against the vessel, the owner, and the master. Gilp. 592; Bee, 254.
7. When destitute in foreign ports, American consuls and commercial agents are required to provide for them, and for their passages to some port of the United States, in a reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States; and American vessels are bound to take such seamen on board at the request of the consul, but not exceeding two men for every hundred tons of the ship, and transport them to the United States, on such terms, not exceeding ten dollars for each person, as may be agreed on. Vide, generally, Story's Laws U. S. Index, h. t.; 3 Kent, Com, 136 to 156; Marsh. Ins. 90; Poth. Mar. Contr. translated by Cushing, Index, h. t.; 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 155.
8. - 2. Seamen in the public service are governed by particular laws.
SEAMEN'S FUND. By the act of July 16, 1798, a provision is made for raising a fund for the relief of disabled and sick seamen: the master of every vessel arriving from a foreign port into the United States is required to pay to the collector of customs at the rate of twenty cents per month for every seaman employed on board of his vessel, which sum he may, retain out of the wages of such seaman: vessels engaged in the coasting trade, and boats, rafts or flats navigating the Mississippi, with intention to proceed to New Orleans, are also laid under similar obligations. The fund thus raised is to be employed by the president of the United States as circumstances shall require, for the benefit and convenience of sick and disabled American seamen. Act of March 3, 1802, s. 1.
2. By the act of congress, passed February 28, 1803, c. 62, 2 Story's L. U. S. 884, it is provided, that when a seaman is discharged in a foreign country with his own consent, or when the ship is sold there, he shall, in addition to his usual wages, be paid three months' wages into the hands of the American consul, two-thirds of which are to be paid to such seaman, on his engagement on board any vessel to return home, and the remaining one-third is retained in aid of a fund for the relief of distressed American seamen in foreign ports. See 11 John. R. 66; 12 John. Rep. 143; 1 Mason, R. 45; 4 Mason, R. 541; Edw. Adm. R. 239.

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