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Should the Master Go Down with the Ship?

By John A. C. Cartner

Should the Master Go Down with the Ship?

There has been a good deal of press on the subject of the pseudo-moral duty of the master to go down with his ship after a particularly bad maritime accident. There is a rampant folk notion popularized by the lay press – and I have even seen some lawyers of lesser ability sincerely argue the point -- in the affirmative. While vaguely amusing, when any person, lay or legal, tries to argue seriously the notion it loses any value and indeed the argument becomes an obscenity. 

I will say right here: the concept that the master should somehow or the other sacrifice himself when in the command and custody of a mere chattel which has found itself in bad straits is counterproductive, immoral, not required by any law and in some jurisdictions likely unlawful if the master with intent suicides after the fact. 

Read more and watch the video after the jump.

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Maritime TV 'Conversations with Cartner'
A weekly discussion on maritime industry issues of the day with Shipmaster and Maritime Lawyer, Dr. John A.C. Cartner.


The opinions expressed by Dr. John A.C. Cartner in the ‘Conversations with Cartner’ Video Series and accompanying blogs are the opinions of Dr. Cartner and do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff and management of Maritime TV, or its parent network, TV Worldwide, Inc.

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