The Walumba (Owners) v Australian Coastal Shipping Commission: 1965

(High Court of Australia) Instead of rescuing the vessel, she had been despatched to recover, the Walumba tug herself came into peril, and was salved by a pilot boat.
Held: The pilot boat was to be awarded pounds 10,000 for its services. A clause from the United Kingdom Standard Towage Conditions were held to form part of the contract between the owners of the tug WALUMBA and the owners of a vessel which she went to assist when aground off the coast of Australia. The clause provided: ‘3. The Tugowner shall not, whilst towing, bear or be liable for damages of any description done . . to the tug . . or for loss of the tug . . or for any personal injury or loss of life, arising from any cause, including negligence at any time of the . . tug, its machinery, boilers, towing gear, equipment or hawsers, lack of fuel, stores or speed, or otherwise, and the Hirer shall pay for all loss or damage and personal injury or loss of life, and shall also indemnify the Tugowner against all consequences thereof’.
Kitto J said: ‘The question, therefore, is whether a salvage liability incurred in such circumstances as those of the present case should be considered to have been outside the reasonable contemplation of the parties as consequences of damage to the tug; and that depends on the view a business or seafaring man would take ‘without too microscopic analysis but on a broad view’: per Lord Wright in Yorkshire Dale Steamship Company, Ltd. V. Minister of War Transport , [1942] A.C. 691 at p.706; (1942) 73 Ll. L. Rep. 1, at p.10.’


Kitto J


[1965] 1 Lloyds Rep 121




CitedYorkshire Dale Steamship Co Ltd v Minister of War Transport HL 1942
Treatment of Merchant as War Vessel
The House considered when a merchant vessel may be treated on the same footing as a war vessel and be deemed to be engaged on a warlike operation.
Held: This depended on the nature of the cargo and the voyage: ‘She was then in the act of . .

Cited by:

CitedTotal Transport Corporation v Arcadia Petroleum Ltd (‘the Eurus’) CA 18-Nov-1997
Arcadia chartered the Eurus, and had succeeded in their application for an award in arbitration proceedings against Total. The award had been reversed, and they now appealed against that order. The parties disputed whether the amount was an award of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 May 2022; Ref: scu.462288