Fishing Vessel Master's Violates Primary Duty

Monday, August 12, 2002
In Northern Queen, Inc. v. Kinnear, 2002 WL 1799711 (9th Cir. August 7, 2002), the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Blake Kinnear, master (and 22 percent owner) of the F/V LIN J, violated the primary duty rule when the vessel sank in icy waters of the Bering Sea in March 1999, relieving the vessel's owner, Northern Queen, Inc.--77 percent owned by his wife and one percent owned by his minor daughter--of liability for his death. Northern Queen initiated the suit by filing a claim under the Limitation of Liability Act, seeking to limit the vessel owner's liability to the post-casualty value of the vessel together with her pending freight. The court found Northern Queen could not rely on this Act because Kinnear--an owner of the vessel--had knowledge of the F/V LIN J's unseaworthiness and "failed to adequately respond or correct those conditions in his capacity as captain." The court's discussion of the primary duty rule is extensive. The rule provides that a seaman "may not recover from his employer for injuries caused by his own failure to perform a duty imposed upon him by his employment." The court had unusually detailed evidence of the decisions Captain Kinnear made leading up to the casualty, through e-mails he sent from his vessel to a cannery where he was taking the 55,000 pound cargo of snow crab. These e-mails established that Kinnear (a) traveled at an excessive rate of speed given the wintery conditions which caused excessive icing on the vessel and (b) chose to carry an excessive number of crab pots on the vessel's deck which blocked access to the lazarette in which water was accumulating, the two conditions, the court found, leading to the vessel's instability and foundering. Source: Marine Legal Update
Maritime Reporter September 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

USCG: Body Found in Search for Ship Sunk in Hurricane

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday said its crews had found a body and an empty, heavily damaged lifeboat in their search for the cargo ship El Faro, believed to have

Kalmar to Upgrade MSC Terminal VLC (Valencia) Cranes

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has announced a large contract to heighten and extend the handling capabilities of eight ship-to-shore (STS) cranes at MSC Terminal VLC in Valencia, Spain.

Wärtsilä Debuts Package for hydropower & industrial plant

Wärtsilä Corporation, a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets, expands into a new market segment, offering a comprehensive package of seals,


Höegh Autoliners Appoints Agents in Finland

Höegh Autoliners has appointed Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics (SSL) as its agent in Finland from 1 December 2015.   SSL, which has worked with Höegh Autoliners

Smith Taken on Rolls-Royce Holdings Board

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc today announces the appointment of Sir Kevin Smith CBE as a Non-Executive Director.  Sir Kevin will join the Board with effect from

Incat Ferry Order from Denmark

Incat Tasmania Pty Ltd, Australian shipbuilder, has secured a contract for the construction, delivery and long term charter of a large fast vehicle ferry for Danish company Mols-Linien A/S.

Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1227 sec (8 req/sec)