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Safe Port

Volenti non fit injuria
Last updated: 28-Nov-2015

Per Devlin J in Compania Naviera Maropan S A v Bowaters Lloyd Pulp and Paper Mills, Ltd (The Stork),[1954] 3 All ER 563, at p.569:

To deny the defendants’ proposition does not mean that a master can enter ports that are obviously unsafe and then charge the charterers with damage done. The damages for any breach of warranty are always limited to the natural and probable consequences. The point then becomes one of remoteness of damage; or, if it is thought better to put it in Latin, the expressions novus actus interveniens and volenti non fit injuria are ready to hand. There is also the rule that an aggrieved party must act reasonably and try to minimise his damage. A master who entered a berth which he knew to be unsafe (and which perhaps the charterer had nominated in ignorance of its condition) rather than ask for another nomination and seek compensation for any time lost by damages for detention, might find himself in trouble. So might a master who sought compensation for the time lost in sailing back across the Atlantic because he had not cared to risk damage to his paintwork.

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