Reply To: Was a merchant marine master who lost a ship always investigated?

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day Was a merchant marine master who lost a ship always investigated? Reply To: Was a merchant marine master who lost a ship always investigated?

#2569
Frank Scott
Participant

    I am not sure how the system worked, but even outside the old Empire means existed to take action if it was considered that the Master had been at fault in any way. One example concerns a very famous shipmaster, Captain JCB ‘Bracewinch’ Jarvis.

    The four-masted barque Earl of Dalhousie (1,677 grt) capsized in San Francisco Bay on 12 May 1885 while under tow to the Oakland Flats for cleaning and painting. To ensure stability with a swept hold Captain Jarvis had struck down all yards except for the mainyard. The top-sail yards were slung three-by-three over the side, while the other yards were stowed on deck. The plan was to tow the ship in the morning when it was supposed to be calm. However, that day the afternoon breeze came unusually early, well before noon, and the tug also had to fight the tidal stream. When the tug turned to starboard to avoid an anchored American ship, the Bell O’Brian, the Earl of Dalhousie heeled hard over as she was hit by a strong gust. She managed to right herself after that first gust, but she did not recover from the next one, lying over on her side and eventually capsizing.,br>
    As a result of the accident Captain Jarvis had his certificate suspended for six months. The ship was subsequently salvaged and re-rigged under his supervision.