Maritime Law  &  The Criminalization of Maritime Violations and Offenses - Important

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U.S. Department of Labor - These are contact
numbers for Dept of Labor Offices that maintain
regional employment, unemployment, wage

ALASKA - Juneau, AK - (907) 465-4518
ARIZONA - Phoenix, AZ - (602) 542-3871
ARKANSAS - Little Rock, AR - (501) 682-4500
CALIFORNIA - Sacramento, CA - (916) 262-2160
COLORADO - Denver, CO - (303) 318-8898
CONNECTICUT - Wethersfield, CT - (860) 263-6255
DELAWARE - Wilmington, DE - (302) 761-8052
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - (202) 671-1633
GUAM - Tamuning, GU - (671) 475-7062
HAWAII - Honolulu, HI - (808) 586-8996
IDAHO - Boise, ID - (800) 772-2553
ILLINOIS - Chicago, IL - (312) 793-2316
INDIANA - Indianapolis, IN - (317) 232-7460
IOWA - Des Moines, IA - (515) 281-0255
KANSAS - Topeka, KS - (785) 296-5058
KENTUCKY - Frankfort, KY - (502) 564-7976
LOUISIANA - Baton Rouge, LA - (225) 342-3141
MAINE - Augusta, ME - (207) 287-2271
MARYLAND - Baltimore, MD - (410) 767-2250
MASSACHUSETTS - Boston, MA - (617) 626-6556
MICHIGAN - Detroit, MI - (313) 456-3090
MINNESOTA - St. Paul, MN - (651) 282-2714
MISSISSIPPI - Jackson, MS - (601) 321-6261
MISSOURI - Jefferson City, MO - (573)

NEVADA - Carson City, NV - (775) 684-0387
NEW HAMPSHIRE - Concord, NH - (603) 228-4123
NEW JERSEY - Trenton, NJ 08625 - 609 292-0099
NEW MEXICO - Albuquerque, NM - (505) 222-4683
NEW YORK - Albany, NY - (518) 457-6369
NORTH CAROLINA - Raleigh, NC - (919) 733-2936
NORTH DAKOTA - Bismarck, ND - (701) 328-2868
OHIO - Columbus, OH - (614) 752-9494
OKLAHOMA - Oklahoma City, OK - (405) 557-7265
OREGON - Salem, OR - (503) 947-1212
PENNSYLVANIA - Harrisburg, PA - (717) 787-3266
PUERTO RICO Hato Rey, PR - (787) 754-5340
RHODE ISLAND - Cranston, RI - (401) 462-8767
SOUTH CAROLINA - Columbia, SC (803)
737-2660SOUTH DAKOTA - Aberdeen, SD - (605)
TENNESSEE - Nashville, TN - (615) 741-2284
TEXAS - Austin, TX
UTAH - Salt Lake City, UT - (801) 526-9401
VERMONT - Montpelier, VT - (802) 828-4153
VIRGIN ISLANDS-Charlotte Aml, VI -340 776-3700
VIRGINIA - Richmond, VA - (804) 786-7496
WASHINGTON - Lacey, WA - (360) 438-4804
WEST VIRGINIA - Charleston, WV - (304) 558-2660
WISCONSIN - Madison, WI - (608) 267-2393
WYOMING - Casper, WY - (307) 473-3807
Legal & Professional Perils for the Mariner
Maritime Jobs - Marine Jobs - Deckhands - Tankermen - Able Seaman - Maritime Jobs - Deck Engine - Employment in the Maritime
Industry - Work on Ships - Yachts - Tugboats - Cruise Ships
Criminalization of Maritime Violations and Offenses and
Other Legal Perils for the Commercial Mariner Today

The increased level of criminal liability for one’s errors is
never far from the minds of professional mariners today.
Mariners are also aware of the publicity and subsequent
investigations involving Coast Guard administrative law
hearings, especially after one administrative law judge
testified about how she was instructed to make her
rulings. Read more about
Criminal Law and the
Criminalization of the Professional Mariners' Conduct .

Professional mariners realize that they may be forced to
make split second decisions during crisis situations, and
that afterwards, those decisions could be intensely
scrutinized by judges, prosecutors, attorneys and
insurance adjustors who later have the benefit of
reviewing the situation in full hindsight, and with
voluminous technical reports analyzing what happened,
what went wrong, and what the commercial mariner
should have done instead of what he or she actually did
when everything hit the fan.

Because mariners are an honorable lot, they aren’t
usually inclined to think like criminals on the witness
stand. This is true despite an atmosphere where the
conduct of commercial seamen is increasingly subject to
criminal prosecution. Captains, mates, and other
crewmembers are generally indoctrinated to act prudently
and cautiously… doing everything in their power and
abilities to keep their crew, passengers, vessel and cargo
safe, to comply with the rules of the road, to prevent fires
on their vessels, to prevent confined space injuries, to
apply high standards of competence and seamanship in
plotting courses, to be vigilant to range settings and
targets on their radar screens, and in general, to make
sure everyone on the boat goes home to their families at
the end of the day in one piece. They also strive to do all
these things in a manner which is reasonably economical
for the owners and operators of a vessel, avoiding
unnecessary delays in schedules, regulatory agency
penalties, while cognizant of fuel consumption and
overtime expenses.
If you read Homer's Odyssey in high school, you might remember the perils of Odysseus
as he passed the Sirens. They were beautiful creatures with the face of a woman and the
body of a bird. Their beauty and song had caused many mariners to wreck their ships on
the rocks of Sirenum scopuli. Wishing to hear the enchanted song without sentencing his
crew to a death sentence, Odysseus had himself lashed to the mast of his boat.

Trivia: What is Asbestos?
In real life, commercial mariners today face legal and administrative perils of a more
serious nature. Commercial mariners are generally aware that federal and state
prosecutors can apply
criminal statutes in prosecuting violations. In investigations,
mariner's may invoke their
Fifth Amendment Protection against self incrimination.   
The Perils of Odysseus
The painting above shows
that Odysseus was deadly
serious about the maritime
peril of the Siren's song.
Sailors were unable to resist
the beauty of the Sirens' song
and for reason were doomed
to wreck their ships on the
rocky shores of the Sirens'
home islands. While such
mythical perils are interesting
to read about, mariners today
face perils of a different
nature. Besides the
traditional perils of the seas,
mariners today face a
complex legal system that
can impose stiff penalties for
oil spills and other incidents.
Jones Act Seaman
Status Significance of
Status as a Jones Act
Jones Act Seaman Status
The Jones Act &
Commercial Mariners
More information about
the Jones Act
Jones Act & Comm Mariners
The 5th Amendment arose recently in the tragic Philadelphia Tour Boat collision. In the
area of oil spills, the Dept of Justice made
criminal prosecutions in New Orleans for
violation of environmental laws. What this means to the mariner is that mistakes or
violations which in the past would have subjected them to civil penalties (or money claims
from lawsuits based on negligence) could now expose them to criminal.prosecution.
Fair when it comes to
whether or not the
punishment fits the
crime. But unfortunately,
this industry has seen
criminalization of the
conduct of the mariner,
even for crimes that are
deemed so despite the
lack of intent of a
Asbestos is definitely a peril