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O'Hara v. Luckenbach Steamship Co., 269 U.S. 364 (1926)

O'Hara v. Luckenbach Steamship Company

No. 224

Argued November 19, 1925

Decided January 4, 1926

269 U.S. 364


1. Under the requirement of the Seamen's Act of March 4, 1915, that

"the sailors shall, while at sea, be divided into at least two, and the firemen, oilers and water tenders into at least three, watches, which shall be kept on duty successively for the performance of ordinary work incident to the sailing and management of the vessel,"

all the sailors must be divided into watches as nearly equal to each other numerically as the whole number of sailors will permit. P. 269 U. S. 367.

2. The purpose of this provision, as shown by the Act and its history, is to promote safety at sea, rather than to regulate the working conditions of the men. Id.

3. The phrase "divided into watches" is to be given the meaning it had acquired in the language and usages of the nautical trade, connoting a division of the crew as nearly equal as possible. P. 269 U. S. 370.

1 F.2d 923 reversed.

Certiorari to a decree of the circuit court of appeals which affirmed a decree of the district court dismissing a libel for seamen's wages.

Page 269 U. S. 365

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