National Mariners Association
124 N. Van Street Houma, LA. 70363
Captan Richard Block Secretary/Historian 985-851-2134
Captain J. David Miller IT/IS Services 563-424-8860

Historical Archives
As of July 1, 2014, this website became part of the Library of Congress as a archive for historical documents.

NMA Mission Statement


The National Mariners Association (NMA) is a “limited-tonnage” merchant mariner advocacy and watchdog group that engages in the political process, primarily at the national level, to improve the safety, health and social stability of our mariners.

    NMA is not a union.  We do not organize workers within companies, or engage in collective bargaining as these are union activities.  We do not compete with unions and do our best to support them.

    NMA is a non-profit maritime organization that welcomes all professional mariners whether military, commercial, or recreational.  Founded by a group of dedicated and credentialed limited tonnage mariners, our aim is to provide a central forum for communication and information where every mariner who owns, operates, or serves on a vessel can access maritime-related information and benefit from the shared experiences of fellow seamen through our web page at

    NMA addresses issues important to the safety, health and social stability of our mariners including marine safety, recruiting and advancement of qualified mariners, and the protection of the marine environment.

    NMA will engage with all concerned to promote the maritime industry as an attractive career.  NMA will advocate legislation beneficial to professional mariners, the maritime industry, and the marine environment.  Unfortunately, but in good conscience, we must withdraw support when a career in one or more sectors of the maritime industry becomes unsafe, unhealthy, or loses its attraction.  We also caution our mariners about aspects of the maritime industry that are dangerous and need correction.

    American merchant seamen have always been a vital part of our nation’s economy.  Without their sacrifice and the hardships they endured our nation’s prosperity could never have been realized.

    Today’s merchant mariners still sacrifice health, welfare, and family time in their service to the sea.  Our Association recognizes their dedication and will utilize its resources to support worthwhile programs that will aid our merchant seaman and their families when in need.  As a member, you will be part of this meaningful endeavor while benefiting from joining with America’s professional mariners.

"Asserting our right “…to petition the Government for redress of grievances.” 

 Amendment 1, U.S. Constitution, Dec.15, 1794

Captain Joseph Dady
Immediaqte Past President of NMA

The "ARTCO Six"

"Towing Vessel Masters Prevailed in Case Before U.S. Court of Appeals"


The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an award of compensatory and punitive damages to a towboat master who was discharged after refusing to pilot a towboat with  a larger than usual number of barges.

      The company paid higher wages to masters who agree to handle larger tows. After the plaintiff refused to take larger tows, his evaluation was lowered and he was discharged.     

      He brought suit against the company (ARTCO) alleging violation of the Seaman's Protection Act (Title 46 U.S. Code 2114), which protects a seaman from discharge for refusing to perform duties ordered by the employer because the seaman has a reasonable apprehension that performing the duties would result in serious injury to the seaman, other seamen, or the public.

      The court upheld that the jury could reasonably interpret the employer's actions as constituting a violation of the stature.

{Gwin v. American River Transportation Company. #06-2900, 7th Circuit, April 10, 2007}