Seaman Qualifications and Responsibilities

How do you picture a SEAMAN?

The Seaman BEFORE

When defining the term seaman, with regards to the maritime industry, he result can be quite vague or inadequate. Before, the definition of a seaman was restricted to someone who passes two prerequisites. In addition, there should be an established connection between the seaman and the water vessel through navigation. This only means that apart from it being a specific rule regarding the description of a seaman, an occupation that is different from it will not be recognized as such. Worse, there will be no coverage under the maritime law protection.

The Seaman TODAY

Nowadays, all ship workers are covered under the term seaman; thanks to the United States Supreme Court. It came to a decision that even if an employee’s job does not include transportation function or navigation, then he is still considered as a seafarer or seaman. So as long as the employee’s role is still a part of or contributes to the watercraft’s function and is mainly part of the vessel, he is given the seaman status and its privileges.

But, certain rules still apply, if an employee does not spend his work time at least 30% in a sea vessel or watercraft, then he is still not considered and regarded as a seaman, but as a land-based worker, thus not benefiting its privileges.

Benefits of being recognized as a seaman

It is necessary and important that you are recognized as a seaman if you want to enjoy and benefit from the rights that are entitled to you by the maritime Law. The following are some of the benefits of being recognized as seaman:

  • Right to unearned salary
  • Right to maintenance and cure
  • Right to compensation for physical and other types of injuries caused watercraft accidents
  • Right to compensations caused by damages due to negligence of the employer or owner.

Below are the jobs and responsibilities of a seaman (aside from navigating a sea vessel or watercraft:

  • Rigging,
  • Tying down the vessel,
  • Cleaning the deck and maintaining the ship,
  • Standing watch,
  • Making knots and other vessel-related responsibilities.

If you perform the following duties, make sure you are covered by the benefits afforded to a seaman. Now, if you are a seafarer or are thinking of joining the maritime crew, it is important that you should know your own status in the watercraft that you attend in order for you to gain protection from the Maritime Law.

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