Perils of the sea

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PERILS OF THE SEA, contracts. Bills of lading generally contain an exception that the carrier shall not be liable for "perils of the sea." What is the precise import of this phrase is not perhaps very exactly settled. In a 'strict sense, the words perils of the sea, denote the natural accidents peculiar to the sea; but in more than one instance they have been held to extend to events not attributable to natural causes. For instance, they have been held to include a capture by pirates on the high sea and a case of loss by collision by two ships, where no blame is imputable to either, or at all events not to the injured ship. Abbott on Sh. P. 3, C. 4 Sec. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Park. Ins. c, 3; Marsh. Ins. B. 1, c. 7, p. 214; 1 Bell's Comm. 579; 3 Kent's Comm. 251 n. (a); 3 Esp. R. 67.
     2. It has indeed been said, that by perils of the sea are properly meant no other than inevitable perils or accidents upon the sea, and, that by such perils or accidents common carriers are, prima facie, excused, whether there be a bill of lading containing the expression of "peril of the sea," or not. 1 Conn. Rep. 487.
     3. It seems that the phrase perils of the sea, on the western waters of the United States, signifies and includes perils of the river. 3 Stew. & Port. 176.
     4. If the law be so, then the decisions upon the meaning of these words become important in a practical view in all cases of maritime or water carriage.
     5. It seems that a loss occasioned by leakage, which is caused by rats gnawing a hole in the bottom of the vessel, is not, in the English law, deemed a loss by peril of the sea, or by inevitable casualty. 1 Wils. R. 281; 4 Campb. R. 203. But if the master had used all reasonable precautions to prevent such loss, as by having a cat on board, it seems agreed, it would be a peril of the sea, or inevitable accident. Abbott on Ship. p. 3, c. 3, Sec. 9; but see 3 Kent's Comm. 243, and note c. In conformity to this rule, the destruction of goods at sea by rats has, in Pennsylvania, been held a peril of the sea, where there has been no default in the carrier. 1 Binn. 592. But see 6 Cowen, R. 266, and 3 Kent's Com. 248, n. c. On the other hand, the destruction of a ship's bottom by worms in the course of a voyage, has, both in America and England, been deemed not to be a peril of the sea, upon the ground, it would seem, that it is a loss by ordinary wear and decay. Park. on Ins. c. 3; 1 Esp. R. 444; 2 Mass. R. 429 but see 2 Cain. R. 85. See generally, Act of God; Fortuitous Event;. Marsh. Ins. eh. 7; and ch. 12, Sec. 1.; Hildy on Mar. Ins. 270.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Most cruisers don't have sufficient experience to enable them to face the perils of the sea such as high waves, storm surges, loss of direction, or disruptions to the boat or its engine, the ROP has pointed out.
At The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, the Jack Earl painting of Charleston running fast downwind to win the 1979 Maria Island Race, the Charleston Trophy and the Jeff Corkhill Memorial Trophy are reminders of the ever present perils of the sea.
But, despite being impressed that the bottle made it past the perils of the sea, Emily-Rose was hoping for more exotic destinations.
The previous year, Michael's Perils of the Sea attracted a winning bid of pounds 405 from company chief Dr Bill Bogie, who grew up in Cullercoats but moved to Buckinghamshire in 1972.
"The ship owners and the mariners, who risk their lives daily to the natural perils of the sea, now more than ever need the help of the world community to continue to trade."
Charity chiefs from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution released 467 balloons - the number of people from the West Midlands saved in the past ten years after experiencing the perils of the sea.
He said despite the technology on modern vessels, it did not protect fishermen from the perils of the sea.
We are all aware of the perils of the sea because so many here are connected to it."
Luxury liners, meanwhile, increasingly catered to dreams of comfort and affluence as "floating palaces." The perils of the sea were swept from view by gigantic scale and the aesthetics of internal design.