What are a master’s chief responsibilities under (English) common law?

(1) To preserve the safety of the crew, passengers, ship and cargo (acting as if ship and cargo were the master’s own uninsured property);ย 

(2) to safeguard the marine environment; (3) to prosecute the voyage with the minimum of delay and expense; (4) to act always in the best interests of the owners; (5) to carry out all that is usual and necessary for the employment of the ship; (6) to obey the owner’s lawful instructions (but without any requirement to obey unlawful instructions, e. g. where a breach of a statutory requirement or prohibition would result); (7) to exercise care of the goods entrusted to the master as bailee and to see that everything is done to preserve them in good order and condition during the voyage.


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