I was asked tonight if there is a legal succession on a merchant ship. Say the ship’s master dies on a typical unlimited tonnage ocean ship. I assume the chief mate would be acting master.
But say the master and chief mate both die in a fire. Would the second mate be acting master or would the CHENG be the acting master as he is the senior managerial officer?
The person asking us USN and apparently they know who follows who (the person asking is twenty-seven in line). I understand that other factors, such as licenses held, may determine who actually leads but is there a legal solution somewhere in a CFR? I’ve looked a little but haven’t found one.