Boatswain’s mates

Exposed to asbestos at their workplace

The rating of boatswain’s mate is one of the oldest in the U.S. Navy, dating back to 1794. It was a rating which allowed new recruits to enter the military without pursuing a specific career path. Thereby, people who served in the military as boatswain’s mates were responsible with training, directing and supervising the personnel of the ship in various activities, such as operating and maintaining equipment, loading and unloading cargo, ammunition and fuel, as well as performing seamanship tasks. They were heavily exposed to asbestos, since the ships and submarines of the U.S. Navy were laden with asbestos, having over 300 different asbestos products aboard before 1980.

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Also present in the U.S. Coast Guard, the rating of boatswain’s mate entailed performing duties concerning deck maintenance, small boat operations, navigation and supervision of military personnel who were also serving on the ship. They would assist military personnel in all the activities which involved using the marlinspike, a tool used to tie large knots, and also in tasks regarding the deck, painting, the upkeep of the external structure of the ship, rigging and the boats.

In the military, boatswain’s mates were the experts in every aspect of deck seamanship and navigation. They were also in charge of commanding coastal patrol boats, river tenders, harbor tugs, and small shore units. Other duties boatswain’s mates would perform included repairing, maintaining and stowing equipment in preparation for underway operations, working in non-engineering divisions of the ship or station, doing temporary duty with food services divisions and participating in naval ceremonies.

Relevant job titles

  • ship, boat and barge mate
  • motorboat operator
  • painter
  • sailors and marine oiler
  • rigger
  • aviation boatswain's mate


Filing a claim with asbestos trust funds does not disqualify you from disability compensation from the VA.

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Diseases contracted after asbestos exposure in boatswain’s mates

If you are diagnosed with a cancerous disease, you or a family member will deal with our staff over the phone and via emails ONLY, no need to travel at all. If you pass away before or during the process, surviving family members will receive the amount awarded by the claims.

Lung Cancer Mesothelioma Throat Cancer Esophageal Cancer Bronchial Cancer Gastrointestinal Cancer Colorectal Cancer

If you receive the diagnosis of a noncancerous disease, we will need to do more testing (X-rays, breathing and blood tests) done at our medical facility in Birmingham, Alabama, where you will be accurately diagnosed.

AsbestosisPulmonary FibrosisPleural PlaquesPleural EffusionDiffuse Pleural ThickeningCOPDEmphysemaChronic BronchitisPleurisyLung NodulesLung SpotsAsthmaTuberculosisPneumonitisRounded AtelectasisLung Scarring Bladder Cancer

How can we help boatswain’s mates who were exposed to asbestos?

Our attorneys specialize in asbestos exposure cases, having provided quality legal assistance to thousands of veterans injured by this dangerous mineral for the last 30 years. If you served as a boatswain’s mate before 1980 and are now suffering from a disease that occurred as a result of asbestos exposure, please contact us as soon as possible to recover the financial compensation you deserve. We will file a claim both with asbestos trust funds and the VA so that you can benefit from the maximum amount of money you are eligible for. It is important to know that, unless we obtain compensation on your behalf, you do not have to pay our legal experts anything. Nevertheless, if your diagnosis is the consequence of asbestos exposure, we are bound to recover substantial compensation for you from all the liable parties.