This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
A contract for rendering service as seamen, which is not made in anticipation of war risks, does not oblige such seamen to undertake war risks.1 The term "war risk" in this sense includes not only risks of capture,2 but also risk to life from mines and the like.3 The action of the owner or charterer of the vessel in incurring such additional risks may not only operate to discharge the contract if the seamen elect, but it may also amount to breach.4 Accordingly, if seamen sign for a voyage which does not involve war risks, and contraband is taken on board as a result of which the vessel is captured and the seamen are detained, they are entitled to compensation up to the time that they arrive at their home port, together with damages for breach of the contract.5 A seaman who has agreed in time of peace to serve on a voyage for delivering a war vessel to the country which has purchased it, is justified in refusing to perform further on the outbreak of war between the government which has purchased such vessel and another foreign government.6 Such war, furthermore, operates as breach, and such seaman may recover compensation for the entire voyage, although he left the vessel at an intermediate port on learning that war had broken out.7 In this case the seaman incurred not only the risks of war, but also danger of prosecution by his own government under the Foreign Enlistment Act.8
10 The Styria, 180 U. 8. 1, 46 L. ed. 1027 [modifying, The Styria, 101 Fed. 728].
11 Piaggio v. Somerville, 119 Miss. 0, 80 So. 342.
1 Palace Shipping Co.v.Caine , A. C. 386; Liston v. The Carpathian , 2 K. B. 42; Burton v. Pinker-ton, L. R. 2 Exch. 340; The Epsom, 227 Fed. 158; O'Niel v. Armstrong [18951, 2 Q. B. 418.
2 Palace Shipping Co.v.Caine ,
A. C. 380; Liston v. The Carpathian , 2 K. B. 42.
3 Liston v. The Carpathian , 2 K. B. 42.
4 Austin Friars Steam Shipping Co. v. Strack , 2 K. B. 315.
5 Austin Friars Steam Shipping Co. v. Strack , 2 K. B. 315.
6 O'Niel v. Armstrong , 2 Q. B. 418.
7 O'Niel v. Armstrong , 2 Q. B. 418.