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|Anatomy of a Collision at Sea - or, Comparative Negligence as a Legal Doctrine
The Kariba was doing 16 knots, while the Tricolor, behind, was doing close to 18
knots. The Clary was northbound and converging with Kariba. Kariba turned
starboard to avoid an accident with Clary and collided with Tricolor, which sank.
The accident occurred in the English Channel on Dec. 14, 2002. The Kariba and
Tricolor were steaming west, parallel to one another. They were traveling in a VTS
Prince William Sound VTS below, involving Exxon Valdez, VTS - vessel traffic service.
The English Channel is no
paradise for the navigation officer
The car carrier Tricolor was similar in appearance to the Thames Highway, pictured here. On
December 14, 2002, she was involved in a three ship accident with the vessel Kariba and Clary.
Examining the facts of the accident, the federal judge determined that liability should be
apportioned between all the vessels in varying percentages. This legal doctrine of comparative
liability is one of the elements of maritime law.