in soundings

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A vessel was said to be in, or on, soundings when it was being navigated in water sufficiently shallow to sound the bottom to ascertain the approximate position of the ship. Traditionally, a ship was reckoned to be in soundings when it was within the 100-fathom (183-m/600-ft) line, this isobath being taken as marking the edge of the continental shelf.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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