Caution Respecting Soundings when in the Vicinity of Land
Circular No 851
Admiralty, 15th December 1858
Serveral cases have recently occurred, in which Her Majesty's Ships, especially Steam Vessels, have been run aground, when, by proper observance of the Admiralty Instructions respecting Soundings, such accidents would most probably have been avoided, the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty hereby direct the attention of all Captains, Commanders and Officer, in Command of Her Majesty's Ships and Vessels, to Art. 1, Section IV, Chapter 5, Page 105, of the said printed Instructions, which Article states that "When a ship is in pilot water, or in the vicinity of land, or rocks, or shoals, the Captain is always to take particular care that the hand lead be kept constantly going".
And on this Instruction, my Lords would further observe that it is not sufficient under such circumstances to place a leadsman in the chains and to keep the led going, but that at the same time the rate of the ship should be reduced (in case of doubt) to such a speed as shall ensure the leadsman getting correct soundings at every cast of the lead; and all Captains and Commanding Officers are cautioned that, in case of a vessel going on shore, this is a point which will be strictly inquired into.
By Command of their Lordships,
To all Flag Officers, &c