18 U.S. Code § 2196 - Drunkenness or neglect of duty by seamen

Whoever, being a master, officer, radio operator, seaman, apprentice or other person employed on any merchant vessel, by willful breach of duty, or by reason of drunkenness, does any act tending to the immediate loss or destruction of, or serious damage to, such vessel, or tending immediately to endanger the life or limb of any person belonging to or on board of such vessel; or, by willful breach of duty or by neglect of duty or by reason of drunkenness, refuses or omits to do any lawful act proper and requisite to be done by him for preserving such vessel from immediate loss, destruction, or serious damage, or for preserving any person belonging to or on board of such ship from immediate danger to life or limb, shall be imprisoned not more than one year.


(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 801.)
Historical and Revision Notes

Based on section 704 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping (R.S. § 4602).
Words “officer, radio operator,” and “or other person employed on” were inserted at beginning of section to insure clarity and scope of section. Section 701 of title 46, U.S.C., 1940 ed., Shipping, is very similar to this section as revised, and has been applied to mates [Morris v. Cornell, D.C. Mass. 1843, Fed. Cas. No. 9,829; Gladding v. Constant, D.C. Mass. 1844, Fed. Cas. No. 5,468; Foye v. Dabney, D.C. Mass. 1853, Fed. Cas. No. 5,022; Foye v. Lickie, D.C. Mass. 1853, Fed. Cas. No. 5,023; The Sylvia De Grasse, D.C.N.Y. 1843, Fed. Cas. No. 12,676; The Sadie C. Sumner, D.C. Mass. 1905, 142 F. 611], as well as engineers, assistant engineers and cooks. (See notes of decisions under section 701, of title 46, U.S.C., Shipping.)
Words “be guilty of a misdemeanor” were omitted as unnecessary in view of general definition of “misdemeanor” in section 1 of this title.
Minor changes were made in phraseology including substitution of “one year” for “twelve months” at end of section.


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