Legal Definition and Related Resources of Seaman

Meaning of Seaman

A person whose occupation is to assist in the management of vessels at sea. Lukos v Chesapeake & O.R. Co., (D.C.Mich.) 120 F.Supp. 296. All hands employed on the vessel in furtherance of the main object of the enterprise in which he is engaged except the master . See Domandich v Doratich, 165 Wash. 315, 5 P.2d 310. In some cases however, even a Master has been held to be within the meaning of the term. See Warner v Goltra, 293 U.S. 155, 55 S. Ct. 46, 79 L.Ed. 254.

Seaman Alternative Definition

A sailor; a mariner; one whose business is navigation. 2 Boul. P. Dr. Cora. 232; Code de Commerce, art. 262; Laws of Oleron, art. 7; Laws of Wisbuy, art. 19. In a statute, it has been held to include persons engaged in fresh-water navigation. 2 Pet. Adm. (U. S.) 268. The term “seamen,” in its most enlarged sense, includes the captain as well as other persons of the crew; in a more confined signification, it extends only to the common sailors. 3 Pardessus, note 667. But the mate (1 Pet. Adm. [U. S.] 246), the cook and steward (2 Pet. Adm. [U. S.] 268), and engineers, clerks, carpenters, firemen, deck hands, porters, and chamber maids, on passenger steamers, when necessary for the service of the ship (1 Conkl. Adm. 107; 2 Pars. Mar. Law, 582; 1 Sumn. [U. S.] 170), 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 ferryboats are not (Gilp. Dist. Ct. 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. Dist. Ct. 516. See “Lien.”

Related Entries of Seaman in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

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Seaman in Historical Law

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Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

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Related Legal Terms

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Mentioned in these terms

Apportionment, Mariner.


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This definition of Seaman is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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See Also

  • Sea
  • Seaman







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