Maritime Executive magazine plays t-ball with this one and still strikes out


I am specifically referring to a Norwegian national who is serving on a Norwegian flagged cruiseship operating exclusively out of Miami meets an American woman onboard, marries her and settles in the US eventually obtaining US citizenship. I know one personally who was with Royal Viking Lines.

Now why he chose to become an American is another matter entirely considering he was from the most progressive and one of the wealthiest nations to begin with?


I know a couple guys who sailed on U.K. tankers, but that was awhile ago. I also know guys who sailed Liberian and Panamanian ships to get seatime and make a few pennies. I know a couple guys who have had good foreign tugboat jobs. I know guys who have done well on foreign flag OSVs, and of course Drillships.

I hear that there are some decent jobs in Canada right now, but they require a Canadian CoC, and you need permanent residence status to get a CoC. Canada does not issue CeCs.

I think that Americans with unlimited licenses can get find foreign shipping jobs fairly easily, but it will probably be for small money.


nothing here about if the injury needs to be on a US ship in US waters

46 U.S. Code § 30104 - Personal injury to or death of seamen

A seaman injured in the course of employment or, if the seaman dies from the injury, the personal representative of the seaman may elect to bring a civil action at law, with the right of trial by jury, against the employer. Laws of the United States regulating recovery for personal injury to, or death of, a railway employee apply to an action under this section.


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One person??? That is getting pretty personal, don’t you think??
There are no Norwegian flag Cruise ships out of Miami any more, so your greatest worries are over.

Yes, the new Viking Cruise ships are flying NIS flag, but are not operating out of Miami.
Besides, they could just as well be hiring Americans as Norwegians. (Send them a mail with your CV, if you are interested)

PS> You didn’t answer my question. I’m curious because the same problem of defining when an immigrant becomes a “Real Norwegian” is now popping up here in Norway.

They sit with tears in their eyes when there is a report about some scond/third generation Norwegian in Minnesota that speaks a few words in a Norwegian dialect and eat “Lutefisk” and “Lefse med Brunost” for X-Mas.
Yet they are hard put to accept that somebody that is 3rd generation of Pakistani background is a “Real Norwegian”.
(We can take that discussion to the Shuttlbutt thread, if you want)


Less than unemployment benefits in the US?? How long do they last anyway?


I did answer your question…the man in question was not a “real” American by the way he became one


So he did become one. How???
BTW Did he wait to change to US citizenship until he retired?
Those ships that was the pioneers of cruising the Caribbean out of Miami was flying NOR flag, hence the Master had to be a Norwegian citizen. (Norway does not accept dual citizenship)


Wow…so suck it up for those wages and be gone from home/family because it “might” be close to unemployment?!? Are you high?

Why not work to elevate the wages of mariners globally to reflect their knowledge and skill rather than promote a race to the bottom? Oh wait, I forgot…US bad and immoral (that pesky free enterprise thing), long suffering developing world good (teach those arrogant yankees a lesson).


No, I propose that you wait until your miger unemployment benefit run out and then start to look if there MAY be some way to get a job to feed the family and pay the bills, EVEN if it may be on one of those hated FoC ships.

BTW; Not ALL foreign ships are FoC, or pay peanuts, but you probably don’t want to even hear about that.


Nope. Not so.

I’m on a boat with very low bandwidth so I cannot look it up for you. Pull out your copy of Chuck Davis’s Maritime Law Deskbook. If you don’t have it, stop by the UW law library, they have it. You might also ask the librarian for Arthur Miller’s Civil Procedure hornbook. Look up words like “jurisdiction”, “sufficient contacts”, “venue”, “forum non convens” , “commity”, and “choice of law”. You can find cases of American longshoremen suing foreign ships for injuries received onboard in US ports. You can find cases of American pilots suing. You may find cases where foreign seamen who are injured in US waters sue foreign shipowners. I highly doubt that you will find a single successful case by an American seaman against a foreign shipowner.

Even if it were theoretically possible, there are lots of practical reasons, like service of process, the high cost of investigating a foreign incident, difficulty obtaining testimony of foreign witnesses, the amount of time and money required to litigate jurisdictional issues, doubfullness of prevailing on procedural issues, and the difficulties collecting any judgment, among others, that would make it impossible for an American seaman to find a lawyer willing to pursue the case.

For example: there is no way a US court is going to assert jurisdiction over a case involving an American Seaman working on a U.K. Flag vessel owned by a U.K. Company servicing windmills in the North Sea. Not going to happen. Even if a US court had jurisdiction, it would probably dismiss the case under forum non convens, and tell the seaman to file his case in the U.K. Even it decided to hear the case, it would probably apply U.K. law, not US law. No American lawyer wants such a case on contingent fee.

Stop perpetuating this myth that American seamen are sue happy, and can win huge judgments all the time under the Jones Act against foreign companies for injuries that occur outside the US. That is utter bullshit.


The amount of Unemploymemt varies according to which state it comes from. A low state like Louisiana is probably only $200. A high state like Washington is around $650. In other words, one days pay per week.


That phrase was an artistic flourish. People put in things like that to conclude writings and speeches. At worst it was hyperbole. I doubt it was an attempt at disinformation. In any case your mention of it derailed your own thread.


Could it be one of the reasons why foreign boats working in the GoM are reluctant to hire Americans??

The other reason is of course that they have crews on permanent employment and cannot, or will not, change for a short or uncertain contract.


Thanks. Any how long can you draw unemployment benefits for?
Can you draw from a state you are not resident of? (I.e. cherry pick)


I do not see any where in the section of the Jones Act that you posted where it says anything about the Jones Act
Having extra-territorial reach to apply to foreign ships outside of US waters.

The US can pass laws which regulate the conduct of US citizens outside the US, but it cannot pass law laws that regulate the conduct of foreign citizens outside the US.


Americans can sue foreign flag drillships for injuries that occur while working in the US. That does not stop the drillships from coming, or from hiring Americans.


you need to remember that a US citizen seaman is a “ward of the court” and thus has unique access to Federal Courts in the country…there is no delineation in the law that mandates the flag of the vessel a US seaman is serving provided the vessel be in navigation and that 30% of the complainant’s employment is as a seaman serving a vessel.

Now say I am a US seaman working for say BP on a Liberian flagged tanker in waters outside the US and I am injured in my employment? Where do I seek redress…in Liberia, the UK or the USA? If I try to get redress at the first two and can’t or don’t, then I can seek it in the USA by reason I am an American seaman. Now, since BP has a US corporate presence, they can be subpoenaed in the US and if there is an award of damages, any of their ships calling in the US can be attached by a US Marshall until I receive my money.

Seamen’s rights

The U.S. Congress adopted the Merchant Marine Act in early June 1920, formerly 46 U.S.C. § 688 and codified on October 6, 2006 as 46 U.S.C. § 30104. The act formalized the rights of seamen.

The Jones Act allows injured sailors to make claims and obtain damages from their employers for the negligence of the ship owner, including many acts of the captain or fellow members of the crew. It operates simply by extending similar legislation already in place that allowed for recoveries by railroad workers and providing that this legislation also applies to sailors. Its operative provision is found at 46 U.S.C. § 30104, which provides:

Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply…

This allows U.S. seamen to bring actions against ship owners based on claims of unseaworthiness or negligence. These are rights not afforded by common international maritime law.

The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Chandris, Inc., v. Latsis, 515 U.S. 347, 115 S.Ct. 2172 (1995), has set a benchmark for determining the status of any employee as a “Jones Act” seaman. Workers who spend less than 30 percent of their time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters are presumed not to be seaman under the Jones Act. The Court ruled that any worker who spends more than 30 percent of his time in the service of a vessel on navigable waters qualifies as a seaman under the act.

An action under the Jones Act may be brought either in a U.S. federal court or in a state court. The right to bring an action in state court is preserved by the “savings to suitors” clause, 28 U.S.C. § 1333. The seaman-plaintiff is entitled to a jury trial, a right which is not afforded in maritime law absent a statute authorizing it.

The U.S. Congress adopted the Jones Act in 1920, formerly 46 USC Sec. 688 and codified on October 6, 2006 as 46 USC Sec. 3010. The Jones Act formalized the rights of seaman which have been recognized for centuries.

From the very beginning of American civilization, courts have protected seaman whom the courts have described as 'unprotected and in need of counsel; because they are thoughtless and require indulgence; because they are credulous and complying; and are easily overreached. They are emphatically the wards of admiralty."

further I never said US seamen were suit crazy (far from the opposite) but saying why foreign shipowners are scared of them and unwilling to assume the risk of hiring them if others can be employed


You must claim in the state you live in, but it’s an interstate claim that is processed and paid according to the rules of the employer’s state. That’s why some shipowners set up a separate company incorporated in Louisiana and use a Louisiana payroll processing service, the unemployment insurance rates that the employer has to pay are lower. If you have multiple employers in multiple states, it is possible to cherry pick to some extent. There are lots of reasons why many people cannot or do not collect unemployment, including they quit, or were fired, or they were a contract worker. In order to collect, you must be able and available, and looking for work, not sitting on the beach in Mexico, not injured or sick, not taking STCW courses, etc. The length of time one can collect depends on how much was paid in by employers, length of employment, and the amount of benefit available. Yes, lots of people cheat.

Bayou companies are famous for making up excuses to fire people instead of laying the off, so that the former employees cannot collect unemploymemt. Some employers contest every unemploymemt claim.


Incorrect. You must file the claim in the state your employer is in.

You have to be fired for gross negligence for it to prevent one from receiving unemployment, at least in Texas.