579. Master's authority over passengers.

Older cases held that at common law the master of a vessel had absolute control over the passengers, who not only had to obey all reasonable orders, but in emergency had to work the ship or even fight for it1; but the latter obligations are no doubt obsolete. The master may use reasonable means to enforce obedience to his lawful commands, and may, when necessary, remove or even imprison a disobedient passenger, but his power is limited to the necessity of the case, and, if he uses excessive means, he is liable in damages