Thursday, May 23, 2024

Decisions

Good seamanship is the exercise of that skill, care and nerve which are ordinarily to be found in competent
mariners. Poor or bad seamanship is the opposite, ie a decision or step that no ordinarily competent mariner
acting with care would have taken or an omission to act as any such mariner would have acted. Whether there
has been good or bad seamanship is a question of fact to be decided upon consideration of all the
circumstances as they stood at the time .

– Andrew Baker J, 2023

Quite apart from my own experience at sea, I have heard on numerous occasions expert evidence as to the extent to which ships roll. The number of degrees which a ship may roll varies with the design and stability of the ship and, of course, with the weather conditions

Sheen J, 1985

Further a master must not be judged too harshly on a decision taken in an emergency… a decision taken in
those circumstances must not be too critically examined from an armchair. . I have endeavoured to try and
avoid too critical an examination of a collision in the circumstances which I have described, while myself
sitting, at any rate, in a comfortable and warm Court, and not dealing with an emergency at sea when a
master had lost a good deal of the forepart of his ship…

– Karminski J, 1967