GW Grace and Co Ltd v General Steam Navigation Co Ltd (The Sussex Oak): QBD 1950

The court considered a time charter in the Baltime form. The charterers entered into a voyage sub-charter with the board of trade. Under the voyage charter the ship loaded a cargo of timber for London from Hamburg. On the voyage to and from Hamburg the steamer was damaged by ice in the River Elbe. The time charter provided that the vessel was to be employed in lawful trades between good and safe ports between the Elbe, the United Kingdom and Brest, and by another clause that the master was to be under the orders of the charterers as regards employment, agency or other arrangements, and the charterers were to indemnify the owners against all consequences or liabilities arising from the master’s signing bills of lading or otherwise complying with such orders.
Held: Hamburg was not a safe port within the meaning of the charter-party because the ship could not reach it and return from it safely. The action of the charterers in ordering the ship to Hamburg as an unsafe port constituted a breach of contract.


Devlin J


[1950] 2 KB 383


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedGard Marine and Energy Ltd and Another v China National Chartering Company Ltd and Another SC 10-May-2017
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 August 2022; Ref: scu.641392