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The deliberate throwing overboard of goods in order to lighten the vessel or improve its staility in case of an emergency. (IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrase)

Cargo or equipment might be jettisoned to lighten a vessel to relieve it from a strand, to stabilize it during a storm, or to get rid of flammables or explosives during a fire. (Washing overboard is the accidental loss of equipment or cargo overboard due to the action of the elements.)
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