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lighthouse, 53 feet high, octagonal in shape, built of wood and painted white, bears S.E. from the West lighthouse, distant 64 yards. Position as given, lat 44° 30' 5" N., long. 67° 6' 15" W.

Note.—Machias Seal island lights in line bearing N.W., lead about 4 miles seaward of Murr ledges.

HYDROGRAPHIC NOTICES RECENTLY PUBLISHED BY THE

HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE, ADMIRALTY, 1878. No. 41.—WEST INDIA Pilot, Vol. II., Notice 5; Jamaica ; infor

mation on Black river and Dry harbour. No. 42.—EASTERN ARCHIPELAGO, Notice 17; information relating

to Balabac strait, Sula sea, Macassar strait, and Gillolo

passage. No. 43.-West INDIA Pilot, Vol. II., Notice 6; information

relating to Puerto Rico and Cuba. No. 44.—PACIFIC OCEAN, Notice 44; information relating to

islands in the western part of the South Pacific.

POSITION OF COLOURED SIDE-LIGHTS.—Our excellent contemporary, the Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, in an otherwise useful article on the subject of the position of side-lights, makes a statement, which, if not contradicted, is likely to cause much trouble and delay. Our contemporary (December 3rd) informs his readers that the Board of Trade Surveyors “are instracted to see that the lights and screens of lading vessels are fixed on the shrouds of the fore-rigging.” Our contemporary has omitted the word “not.”

INCORRECT CHART. -We think it right to caution our readers against an incorrect chart. We refer to the last edition of the chart issued by the Admiralty for the entrance to the Baltic, The Sound Sheet No. 2. It is in error by one point variation westerly. Master mariners navigating by this chart will get their ships ashore unless they first correct it.

OUR OFFICIAL LOG.

(It will be seen from the following that the discussion on the subject of “ Watch and Watch " initiated in our columns is likely to bear good fruit. We hope to be enabled to refer again to this matter before long.-Ed. N.M.] OPINIONS OF THE LOCAL MARINE BOARDS AS TO WHETHER A THIRD

MATE MAY LEGALLY AND PROPERLY BE ALLOWED TO TAKE CHARGE OF A WATCH.

ABERDEEN.—That there would be no impropriety or illegality in allowing a third mate to take charge of a watch on board ship provided he be in possession of a second mate's certificate or a certificate of a higher grade.

Belfast.—That if by a third mate is meant an uncertificated person the master would be responsible ; sometimes certificated officers are styled third and fourth mates, and in that case such officers would be responsible, but not otherwise.

BRISTOL.–See no objection to allow a third mate to take charge of the bridge equally with the first and second officers, provided only that the third mate be possessed of at least a second mate's certificate of competency.

CORK.-See no illegality or impropriety in the establishment of the three watch system, provided the third officer is in possession of a certificate of competency for at least the grade of second mate, and that (outside the engine room department) the system be not extended beyond the responsible officers.

DUBLIN.—That it would not be either improper or illegal to allow the third mate to take charge of the bridge equally with the first and second officers, provided he holds a certificate of competency as second mate and the ship is in the open seas, but not when in crowded or pilotage waters.

DUNDEE.— Feel that they are not in a position to give an opinion on the point submitted.

GREENOCK.—That they see no objection to the practice in question if the third officer holds a certificate of competency.

GLASGOW.—Consider that the proposal would be a dangerous innovation to carry out.

HULL.—That there appears to be no objection, legally or otherwise, to a competent third mate, holding a second or higher grade certificate, taking charge of a watch or of the bridge in a steam ship if the Charter approved the same.

LEITH.—That if the third mate holds a certificate of competency they see no objection to his having charge of the bridge.

LIVERPOOL.—That there is no objection to a third officer taking charge of a watch, providing he holds a certificate of competency,

LONDON.—That, as in most steam vessels the third mate is the holder of a certificate as second mate, or of a higher grade, the castom in such cases would be perfectly legal. In cases where the third mate did not hold a certificate the master, knowing the responsibility incurred by placing such officer in charge of the bridge, would be careful to select an experienced seaman, which, in the opinion of the Local Marine Board, would in itself be proper, but they doubt whether in the event of accident the master would be exonerated.

NEWCASTLE. -- Provided the third mate is a certificated officer they have no objection to such a system. Upon the legal phase of the question they can express no opinion, such being, in their view, more a matter for the Crown lawyers than for a Local Marine Board.

NORTH SHIELDS.—That where a third officer holds a certificate from the Board of Trade they see nothing improper in his taking charge of a watch, but think it undesirable that a ship's company should be divided into three watches.

PLYMOUTH.—That if the third mate held a second mate's certificate, or has had three years experience of sea service, he should be allowed to keep a watch, so as to make three watches instead of the old watch-and-watch system, but not otherwise.

SOUTH SHIELDS.—Think it would be highly improper to allow a third mate to take charge of the bridge at night from sunset to sunrise, or in thick weather, or in narrow navigation, but see no objection to a third mate taking charge in the daytime in the open sea, at a distance from a coast, and can offer no opinion as to the legality of the practice.

SUNDERLAND.--That there can be no objection to three watches of officers if the third mate holds a certificate of competency.

THE THAMES TRAFFIC COMMITTEE. In the House of Commons, on Friday, the 13th of December, 1878, Mr. GOURLEY asked the President of the Board of Trade “What measures he has in contemplation for the better security of life and property in the navigation of the Thames and other large rivers : And, whether it is his intention to give effect to any, and which of the changes suggested by the Commissioner's Court of Inquiry respecting the collision between the steamers Princess Alice and Bywell Castle ?

Lord SANDON said: “We are giving our most careful attention to the whole question of the traffic regulations as to the navigation of the Thames, which is in a totally different position from any other river as to the authorities which are responsible for the management, and as to the condition of its traffic. I have referred the report of the Wreck Commissioner's Court to the very able committee which I appointed during the autumn to consider the Thames traffic regulations. Until the first report of that committee is received, and we have had the opportunity of considering it, together with other information which throws light upon the subject, it is not possible for me to say what course the Government will propose to take next year. We have laid upon the table of the House the evidence which the committee have already taken, with the view of bringing before Parliament the points which have been already raised, and of thus enabling other evidence to be offered to the committee if in any quarter there should be a desire to do so. I shall present to Parliament all additional evidence as well as the committee's report, on this important subject. (Hear, hear.) ”

OFFICIAL INQUIRIES AT HOME, 1878.
(This List is competed to the 18th of each Month.)

818. St. Clair, 8.8.; iron; built at Dumbarton, 1876; owned by Andrew Ross and others, of Glasgow; tonnage 184 ; Tyne to Glasgow; passenger and general cargo, and cattle, &c.; canted over on her side at Salen Pier, Loch Sunart, September 25, 1878. Inquiry held at Glasgow, November 12, 1878, before Millar and Coulborn, J.P. Forster and Ward, N.A. Master exonerated from blame, and certificate returned.

319. Maria, schooner ; built at Granton, 1861; owned by Mr. Hickman, Hull; tonnage 87; Lyme Regis to Leith ; lime; took the ground upon Boulmer Rocks, October 6, 1878. Inquiry held at South Shields, October 24, 1878, before Yorke, Stip. Mag. Pickard and Wilson, N.A. Master to blame for not verifying the mate's statement when he reported a light. Certificate suspended for three months.

322. Thomas, brig; built at Whitehaven in 1800; owned by William Kelly and others of that port; tonnage, 186; Charleston to U.K.; resin; abandoned at sea 40 miles east of Charleston, September 26, 1878. Inquiry held at Liverpool, November 6, 1878, before Raffles, Stip. Mag. Harris and Powell, N.A. Court found the master justified in abandoning the vessel. Certificate returned.

323. Essex, s.8.; iron; built at Hull, 1869 ; owned by Bailey and Leetham ; tonnage, 1,183 ; Pillau to Hull ; engines disabled about 160 miles from Spurn Head, September 13, 1878. Inquiry held at Hull, November 7, 1878, before Twiss, Stip. Mag. Knox and Ravenhill, N.A. Chief engineer guilty of negligence. Reprimanded.

326. Esther Smeed, barque; owned by George Smeed, of Sittingbourne ; tonnage, 519; stranded on the island of Gottska Sand, September 30, 1878. Inquiry held at Westminster, November 15, 1878, before Rothery, Wreck Commissioner. Pickard and Nicolas, N.A. Master and mate both to blame for negligent navigation. Certificates suspended for twelve and six months respectively.

327. Macedon ; wood; built at Quebec, 1866 ; owned by Robert Richardson, of Gateside, Paisley ; tonnage, 1,237 ; Quebec to Greenock; timber ; death of a seaman caused by the shifting of the deck load, in consequence of taking a very heavy sea on board. Inquiry held at Greenock, November 9, 1878, before

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