Rules of the Sea

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by AF6872, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    There has been some discussion about Carnival reimbursing US Coast Guard and Navy providing assistance to a stricken ship at Sea. I am not familiar with the wording of the actual rules but if I remember correctly (under rules of the sea and treaty) all ships should render all assistance immediately without compensation? Not including Salvage claims which is a another issue:rolleyes:
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    No one is required to render aid, including the Coast Guard, BUT it's very nice if you do.

    Check out AMVER.
     
  3. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    I suggest you research the IMO and the different SOLAS conventions.
     
  4. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    I'll first start with US CODE
    46 U.S.C. 2303 - DUTIES RELATED TO MARINE CASUALTY ASSISTANCE AND INFORMATION

    § 2304. Duty to provide assistance at sea (a)(1) A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or individuals on board. (2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a vessel of war or a vessel owned by the United States Government appropriated only to a public service.
    (b) A master or individual violating this section shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.
     
  5. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    UNCLOS 1982

    Article 98 - Duty to render assistance
    1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so
    without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:
    (a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost;
    (b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed
    of their need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him;
    (c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew and its passengers
    and, where possible, to inform the other ship of the name of his own ship, its port of
    registry and the nearest port at which it will call.
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Ha, you beat me to it, before I could delete that. Found some other info as well. You are right. And that begs the question, in what situation did I learn "the Coast Guard does not have to go out", and is "obligated" absolute or is the safety of others factored in? Maybe it's that it does not apply to the U.S. government? But that would seem to fly in the face of the IMO search and rescue manual.
     
  7. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    SOLAS 1974

    Regulation 33
    Distress Messages: Obligations and Procedures
    1 The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service that the ship is doing so. If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their
    assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the
    assistance of the person in distress, taking into account the recommendation of the
    Organization, to inform the appropriate search and rescue service accordingly.
    2 The master of the ship in distress or the search and rescue service concerned, after
    consultation, so far as may be possible, with the masters of ships which answer the distress
    alert, has the right to requisition one or more of those ships as the master of the ship in
    distress or the search and rescue service considers best able to render assistance, and it shall
    be the duty of the master or masters of the ship or ships requisitioned to comply with the
    requisition by continuing to proceed with al speed to the assistance of persons in distress.
    3 Masters of ships shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph 1 on
    learning that their ships have not been requisitioned and that one or more other ships have
    been requisitioned and are complying with the requisition. This decision shall, if possible be
    communicated to the other requisitioned ships and to the search and rescue service.
    4 The master of a ship shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph 1
    and, if his ship has been requisitioned, from the obligation imposed by paragraph 2 no being
    informed by the persons in distress or by the search and rescue service or by the master of
    another ship which has reached such persons that assistance is no longer necessary.
    5 The provisions of this regulation do not prejudice the International Convention for the
    Unification of Certain Rules with regard to Assistance and Salvage at Sea, signed at Brussels
    on 23 September 1910, particularly the obligation to render assistance imposed by article 11
    of that Convention
     
  8. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    Having spent more of my life at sea than not and reading SOLAS regulations for years I didn't need to do a search for the SOLAS regulations but I did for the US CODE, but knew it was there.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Or is this talking about a person in the water? If there are 5 vessels in an area that hear a distress call... am I to believe it's only required when there's a person in the water at risk of being lost?

    Or if I hear a ponpon 15 NM away, I'm not required to "search" as searching is not innocent passage in territorial seas.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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  11. tankercaptain

    tankercaptain Member

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    From SOLAS 1995
    "(a) The master of a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance, on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible informing them or the search and rescue service, that the ship is doing so. If the ship receiving the distress alert is unable or, in the special circumstances of the case, considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to proceed to their assistance, the master must enter in the log-book the reason for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress and, taking into account the recommendations of the Organization, inform the appropriate search and rescue service accordingly.

    (b) The master of a ship in distress or the search and rescue service concerned, after consultation, so far as may be possible, with the masters of ships which answer the distress alert, has the right to requisition one or more of those ships such as the master of the ship in distress or the search and rescue service considers best able to render assistance, and it shall be the duty of the master or masters of the ship or ships so requisitioned to comply with the requisition by continuing to proceed with all speed to the assistance of persons in distress.

    (c) Masters of ships shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph (a) of this regulation on learning that their ships have not been requisitioned and that one or more other ships have been requisitioned and are complying with the requisition. This decision shall, if possible, be communicated to the other requisitioned ships and to the search and rescue service.

    (d) The master of a ship shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph (a) of this regulation, and, if the ship has been requisitioned, from the obligation imposed by paragraph (b) of this regulation, on being informed by the persons in distress or by the search and rescue service or by the master of another ship which has reached such persons that assistance is no longer necessary."

    The regulation is pretty clear "is in a position to be able to provide assistance, on receiving a signal from any source that persons are in distress at sea, is bound to proceed with all speed to their assistance, if possible"
    So if you are 15 nm for a person or vessel in distress and you are able to provide assistance then you provide assistance.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    But if I read the U.S. Code correctly..... this doesn't apply to U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy vessels.... is that right?
     
  13. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    That just means that you are not subject to US Legal jeopardy for not rendering assistance.

    One would still be in jeopardy to shunning by the entirety of the Maritime Community.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I've only heard of it happening when considering the safety of the responding vessel (and especially for aircraft).
     
  15. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    It's me again, Joe Taxpayer, who would not set foot on a cruise ship on a bet.

    I have always understood that rescues, whether at sea of while snowed in on a mountain, are done gratis. At least in the US. Maybe I read that a bill is sometimes sent, but payment never demanded.

    In the case of a cruise ship (no more or less a commercial enterprise than a long line fishing boat), is there a reimbursement?

    Should there be?

    As much as I think there should be, I can see there being a huge reciprocity issue as with diplomatic immunity.
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Generally, yes. If it's not life threatening, often the Coast Guard will defer to a towing service for a vessel (after all, towing companies don't want to lose business to the USCG).

    There has been some chatter about charging for rescues, however a big concern is having people hold off of calling for help for fear that they'll be charged, only to find themselves in a worse sistuation later.
     
  17. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    I go with SOLAS and Tankercaptain: Render at sea at all times. Thanks Tankercaptan. Glad Son is learnig at Maritime to learn the rules. I don'tcare if it it is one in a raft or Three thousand in a boat you respond.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    That's one big boat!!!
     
  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    The issue is not whether or not one responds. And I understand the possible escalation of a situation in which someone doesn't ask for help for fear of having to pay for it.

    Did BP repay the US gov't for CG and Navy vessels involved in the clean-up of the Deep Water Horizon? Not the rescue of workers, but the clean-up? I don't know.

    My plumber carries a bond. I carry a bond. My MD carries malpractice. Carnival and Disney carry insurance to pay off PO'ed customers and business interruption. And the US Navy and CG haul their boats back to port for nothing. That's a great business model.

    Again, I understand the ethos. I would always act first and expect no recompense. I also understand the economic incentives which lead to Carnival's business model...and to this fiasco:

    http://www.theweek.co.uk/us/hurricane-sandy/49818/why-did-hms-bounty-sail-jaws-hurricane-sandy

    Coasties risked their lives for these arrogant idiots.
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Yes. They did. Put us up in the Merriott in New Orleans, and all over the Gulf coast.
     

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