CATASTROPHE: Big Blame, Small Penalty

When the Lamport & Holt liner Vestris backed away from her Hoboken pier one Saturday afternoon last November and went wallowing out of New York harbor bound for South America, her Plimsoll line was 7½ in. under water. In her hold were 300 tons too much. A "tender" ship anyway, she lacked buoyancy to weather a middling storm at sea the next day. Her hatches were not properly battened down, her ash ejectors leaked, her pumps were inefficient. Shipping water, she listed to starboard. Her skipper, Capt....

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