Chapter 3. Mates And Seamen of California Harbors And Navigation Code >> Division 4. >> Chapter 3.
The mate is the officer next in rank to the master, and in
case of the master's disability the mate becomes the master. By so
doing he does not lose any of his rights as mate.
All persons employed in the navigation of a vessel, or upon a
voyage, other than the master and mate, are seamen within the
provisions of this code.
The mate and seamen of a vessel are engaged by the master, and
may be discharged by him at any period of the voyage for wilful and
persistent disobedience or gross disqualification, but they can not
be discharged for other reasons before the termination of the voyage.
A mate or seaman is not bound to go to sea in a vessel that is
not seaworthy. If there is reasonable doubt of its seaworthiness he
may refuse to proceed until a proper survey has been had.
A seaman can not by agreement be deprived of his lien upon the
vessel, or of any remedy for the recovery of his wages to which he
would otherwise have been entitled. Any agreement, by which he
consents to abandon his right to wages in case of the loss of the
vessel, or to abandon any right he may have or may obtain in the
nature of salvage is void.
A seaman can not, by special agreement, impair any of his
rights, or add to any of his obligations, as defined by law, unless
he fully understands the effect of the agreement and receives for it
a fair compensation.
Except as otherwise provided by law, the wages of seamen are
due when, and so far only as, freightage is earned, unless the loss
of freightage is due to the fault of the owner or master.
The right of a mate or seaman to wages and provisions begins
either from the time he begins work, or from the time specified in
the agreement for his beginning work, or from his presence on board,
whichever first happens.
If a voyage is broken up before departure of the vessel, the
seamen shall be paid for the time they have served, and they may
retain for their indemnity any advances they may have received.
When a mate or seaman is wrongfully discharged, or is driven
to leave the vessel by the cruelty of the master on the voyage, it is
then ended with respect to him, and he may recover his full wages.
If a vessel is wrecked or lost, a seaman is entitled to his
wages up to the time of the loss or wreck, whether freightage has
been earned or not, if he exerts himself to the utmost to save the
vessel, cargo, and stores.
A certificate from the master or chief surviving officer of a
vessel, to the effect that a seaman exerted himself to the utmost to
save the vessel, cargo, and stores, is presumptive evidence of the
When a mate or seaman is prevented from rendering service by
illness or injury, incurred without his fault in the discharge of his
duty on the voyage, or by being wrongfully discharged, or by a
capture of the vessel, he is entitled to wages notwithstanding. In
case of a capture, a ratable deduction for salvage shall be made.
If a mate or seaman becomes sick or disabled during the
voyage, without his fault, the expense of furnishing him with
suitable medical advice, medicine, attendance, and other provision
for his wants, shall be borne by the vessel till the close of the
If a mate or seaman dies during the voyage, his personal
representatives are entitled to his wages to the time of his death,
if he would have been entitled to them had he lived to the end of the
A mate or seaman who deserts his vessel without cause, or who
is justifiably discharged by the master during the voyage for
misconduct, or for a theft of any part of the cargo or appurtenances
of the vessel, or for a wilful injury thereto or to the vessel,
forfeits all wages due for the voyage.
A mate or seaman may not, under any pretext, ship goods on his
own account without permission from the master.