Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. v. Overseas Oil Carriers, Inc.

553 F.2d 830, 1977 AMC 283 (1977)

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Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. v. Overseas Oil Carriers, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
553 F.2d 830, 1977 AMC 283 (1977)

Facts

The S.T. Overseas Progress (Overseas) was an oil tanker owned by Overseas Oil Carriers, Inc. (Overseas) (defendant) traveling from Israel to Baltimore. The tanker was about 740 miles from Newfoundland when a crew member began having chest pains. The vessel did not have a doctor on board and radioed for help from nearby vessels. The S.S. Canberra, a large passenger vessel with an onboard doctor and medical facility that could travel at greater speed than the tanker, was nearby while traveling from Senegal to New York. The Canberra responded and agreed to change course to render aid. During the communications between the captains of the two vessels, the Canberra’s captain informed the Overseas’s captain that the Canberra’s owner, Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O) (plaintiff) would likely seek reimbursement for diversion costs and expenses arising from the rescue. The captain of the Overseas did not object and signed a letter to this effect when the vessels came together. The stricken crew member was taken aboard the Canberra, examined by its doctor, and found to be having a heart attack. The Canberra then proceeded at maximum speed to New York, where the crew member was rushed to a hospital and treated and eventually recovered. P&O submitted a bill seeking to recover expenses of approximately $12,000 from Overseas. Overseas refused to pay, claiming that payment under the circumstances was not required under the traditional concept of rescue at sea. P&O filed a complaint against Overseas in federal district court. The court granted P&O $500 for nursing services for the crew member but denied any other reimbursement. P&O appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)

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