International Law of the Shipmaster




“He that’s secure is not safe.” Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), Poor Richard’s Almanac (August, 1748).

§ 10.0 The ISM Code, SOLAS and Seaworthiness. This chapter discusses the master and his roles and duties for ensuring the safety of the vessel and those upon it, his duties under the ISM Code and within SOLAS and the general law and doctrines of [un] seaworthiness.1 Each is relatable to the others. Further, there is a direct relationship through the shipmaster between the ISM Code and the STCW Convention discussed in Ch. 13, Labour and the Shipmaster and Ch. 14, Limitation of the Shipmaster’s Liability. We partition this chapter into four parts. In Part A we look at the ISM Code and some of its implications to the master. In Part B we turn to SOLAS, understanding that the ISM Code is the managing system for the directive requirements of SOLAS to the master. Part C deals with the common law of the shipmaster and the safety of the vessel and surveyors and classification societies which are useful in obtaining a third-party affirmation or disaffirmation of seaworthiness. Part D takes the general notions of seaworthiness and looks at them from the ship side and the cargo side.

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