BOATS & SHIPS – Collision between two sailing vessels Channel

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 28/09/1877


            The collision between two sailing vessels in the Channel has directed attention to the position held by pilots. The law is very simple. Where his employment is not compulsory by statute, he is the agent of the owner, who, like any other principal, is liable for any loss or damage inflicted by the pilots in the course of his employment. A pilot being on board, and exercising his functions, the master must not interfere with his conduct of the ship, except in cases of extreme danger or necessity. Where the employment of a pilot is compulsory, the owners are by the “Merchant Shipping Act” relieved from all liability, for all loss or damage occasioned by the default or incapacity of the pilot within the statutory district. The Court of Cassation at Florence last year held that neither the captain, nor the owner of the vessel can be civilly responsible when a qualified pilot has charge of her. The law of France is not settled, the Court of Marseilles, and the court of Rennes, having apparently adopted different views. The English law seems to be based upon sound principles.


Lol Hansom December 20, 2014 Boats & Ships