In what circumstances might a shipmaster become an agent of necessity?

MCA Oral Exam Questions

In an emergency event when it is impossible to obtain instructions from the cargo owners, but there is a real and definite commercial necessity to act on their behalf to preserve their goods, and the action taken is in good faith (i. e. it is honest and in their best interests). 

This could happen, for example, when a ship is likely to go aground and a salvage agreement must be made quickly. In most cases it should be possible to communicate, through the shipowner, and await instructions before accepting assistance, but where time is short, the master should not wait for instructions. A master who makes a salvage agreement without first contacting the property owners when there is time to do so, however, might be exceeding his legal authority. (For questions on Salvage see Section H )



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