272. Master's power over cargo.

For the purpose of ensuring the due prosecution of the voyage and of maintaining the ship in a seaworthy condition, the master has (subject to any contrary agreement) certain powers over the cargo1.

Where the circumstances justify it, he may for the purpose of preserving the ship and the rest of the cargo jettison goods to lighten the ship. Old authority holds that he may sell some2, but not all3, of the cargo to fund repairs necessary to enable the ship to complete the voyage, and that for the same purpose he may hypothecate even the whole of the cargo4.