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Duty Bound to Assist

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  #1  
Old 4th April 2018, 20:37
Twocky61 Twocky61 is offline  
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Duty Bound to Assist

I have heard the nearest ships to a ship transmitting on Marine "Mayday" or "Pan" is expected to assist

Is this under nautical legal legislation or is it a common shipping courtesy?
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  #2  
Old 4th April 2018, 23:06
nhp651 nhp651 is offline  
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legal nautical legislation.............my daughter until recently studying to become a deck officer told me as such when the ship she was on received a mayday in the Pacific. when I asked her did they assist she told me that there were ships much nearer and faster and therefor required to assist under maritime law.
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Old 4th April 2018, 23:16
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Duty Bound to Assist...

At the time of the Vietnam Boat People problem in the South China Sea when three Bank Line ships were involved in four incidents, the survivors who were saved all reported that many ships had ignored their distress messages and passed by their overcrowded and sinking boats. The comment was that several 'mainstream' ships flying well-known flags of registry had simply ignored their obvious distress signals. Is the obligation to render maritime assistance not universal?
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Old 4th April 2018, 23:55
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The obligation is universal and enshrined in SOLAS.
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  #5  
Old 5th April 2018, 06:51
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https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/c4...gulation33.htm
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  #6  
Old 5th April 2018, 09:22
Twocky61 Twocky61 is offline  
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Thanks guys

But if they refuse like mentioned above?

Would that be cause for the courts?
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  #7  
Old 5th April 2018, 22:52
lakercapt lakercapt is online now  
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Twice in my career I was the nearest vessel to another who had transmitted "Mayday" I was on these two occasions ask to tow the vessel in distress to the nearest port. One sank while dong so but the crew were taken on board. The other I towed until near port and another boat came and took t into port.
On both these occassions I received letters from lawyers stating "in the first instance I had not done enough to save the vessel". In the second case they claimed I towed the boat too fast and damaged the stem bar.
So much for helping.
In the second instance the charterer took us off hire for the period of deviation. I think it made me wairy about offering help [email protected]!!!

Last edited by lakercapt; 5th April 2018 at 22:56..
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  #8  
Old 5th April 2018, 23:18
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The obligation is universal and enshrined in SOLAS.
Even for those who deliberately put themselves into a dangerous situation from which they will definitely require to be rescued?

You know who I mean.
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  #9  
Old 5th April 2018, 23:20
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Originally Posted by lakercapt View Post
Twice in my career I was the nearest vessel to another who had transmitted "Mayday" I was on these two occasions ask to tow the vessel in distress to the nearest port. One sank while dong so but the crew were taken on board. The other I towed until near port and another boat came and took t into port.
On both these occassions I received letters from lawyers stating "in the first instance I had not done enough to save the vessel". In the second case they claimed I towed the boat too fast and damaged the stem bar.
So much for helping.
In the second instance the charterer took us off hire for the period of deviation. I think it made me wairy about offering help [email protected]!!!
Agreed. That's the sort of reaction which helps me to understand societies in which they will walk past a person in distress and do nothing.
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  #10  
Old 5th April 2018, 23:54
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Even for those who deliberately put themselves into a dangerous situation from which they will definitely require to be rescued?

You know who I mean.
Several vessels came into Indonesian waters from Vietnam. The official response was to supply water, food, fuel and guidance for maintaining their voyage southwards. However most scuttled their vessels once seeing aid and possible “rescue” was available but at least one was actually set on fire, which was somewhat disconcerting to personnel on the oil platforms and storage tanker.
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  #11  
Old 6th April 2018, 00:14
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Even for those who deliberately put themselves into a dangerous situation from which they will definitely require to be rescued?

You know who I mean.
It's the law and failure to comply is not only morally indefensible but will also likely see the transgressor end up in court and at the very least lose his ticket and job.
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  #12  
Old 6th April 2018, 11:53
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It's the law and failure to comply is not only morally indefensible but will also likely see the transgressor end up in court and at the very least lose his ticket and job.
Thank you for the clarification.
Now had a look at Reg 33 and see what you mean.
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  #13  
Old 6th April 2018, 12:23
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To clarify the consequences, if the Master of a British ship (I can't speak for other countries) fails to respond to or assist a distressed person/vessel which he is in a position to assist, then on conviction they can be levied an unlimited fine and/or 2 years in prison.
Not forgetting consequential loss of Masters ticket etc.
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  #14  
Old 6th April 2018, 21:27
Cutsplice Cutsplice is offline  
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To clarify the consequences, if the Master of a British ship (I can't speak for other countries) fails to respond to or assist a distressed person/vessel which he is in a position to assist, then on conviction they can be levied an unlimited fine and/or 2 years in prison.
Not forgetting consequential loss of Masters ticket etc.
I understood that the penalty was a max of £250,0000 and 5yrs imprisionment,the same applies for taking an unseaworthy vessel to sea, plus a vessel undermanned.
It's quite awhile since I don my masters so my memory could well be suspect.
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  #15  
Old 6th April 2018, 22:07
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I understood that the penalty was a max of £250,0000 and 5yrs imprisionment,the same applies for taking an unseaworthy vessel to sea, plus a vessel undermanned.
It's quite awhile since I don my masters so my memory could well be suspect.
2 years now (as per the latest 1998 regs) and the max fine was made unlimited a few years back.
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  #16  
Old 7th April 2018, 17:01
Cutsplice Cutsplice is offline  
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Thanks Jim for updating me, everyday is a school day.
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  #17  
Old 9th April 2018, 09:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhp651 View Post
legal nautical legislation.............my daughter until recently studying to become a deck officer told me as such when the ship she was on received a mayday in the Pacific. when I asked her did they assist she told me that there were ships much nearer and faster and therefor required to assist under maritime law.
Did your daughter give up the cadetship? Or did I read that wrong!
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  #18  
Old 9th April 2018, 22:25
nhp651 nhp651 is offline  
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Did your daughter give up the cadetship? Or did I read that wrong!
sadly, her cadetship, yes.........her dreams, no.........PM SENT.
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  #19  
Old 10th April 2018, 01:41
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Outward bound in the early fifties, I was on the wheel and we were some hundred miles or so, off Key West when I spotted a distress flare some considerable distance off our star'bd beam.
Simultaneously, it was reported by the lookout. The second, who was in the chart room, snoozing I think, went out on the wing, saw a flare and contacted the old man.
His response was, "Due to breakdowns we are behind, so keep going." or words to that effect. Give him his due, second argued with the OM but got nowhere and he came close to disobeying the order.

Unbelievably, about four or five days later, a single flare was spotted just on dawn. Apparently, a similar response was given to a request to investigate. I was off-watch that time so didn't see it.

Both events were the talk of the ship, but warnings were issued that the 'imagined sightings were shooting stars' and we were to cease discussing the matter.
Attempts were made to see if the reports had been logged, but we never found out and the second and whoever was on the bridge at the latter sighting, wouldn't talk about anything but 'shooting stars'.

I have never forgotten the incidents and will always wonder about the souls who were forced to send out for assistance, by flares, only to be ignored by such a heartless bastard who should have been stripped of his ticket. Had their radios failed as there was no mention of distress calls?


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  #20  
Old 13th April 2018, 00:22
Allend Allend is offline  
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Which organisation is it that oversees the International Convention For The Safety Of Life at Sea? And where are they based? Thanks.

Last edited by Allend; 13th April 2018 at 00:48..
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  #21  
Old 13th April 2018, 00:28
sbkenn sbkenn is offline  
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Assistance at sea.

I grew up on a barge, my parents ran a boat rental company in Ireland. IMO, if someone is in trouble, at sea, or just in the water, that is pretty much all that matters. A small tanker, "Steersman" came to my aid some years ago. Having a small fire on board, they didn't approach, but stationed broadside to the swell to make our position more comfortable, and to be close by if we needed to abandon ship. It took 4 hours for the lifeboat to reach us, then another hour before they started the tow. Many thanks to Steersman and her crew for their assistance and prayers that were signaled by turning on their fire monitors.
A few years later, someone needed help in the harbour where I am. I called 999, and ran to help. I called to the bouncers of a nite-club that someone needed help, but they ignored me. I swam out to the guy, and pulled his inert body back to the steps where emergency services took over. I found out later that he had intended to take his own life (he succeeded). 2 weeks later, passing the club, I said "thanks for your help the other day". The response was "if someone wants to top himself, why should we interfere".
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  #22  
Old 13th April 2018, 01:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twocky61 View Post
I have heard the nearest ships to a ship transmitting on Marine "Mayday" or "Pan" is expected to assist

Is this under nautical legal legislation or is it a common shipping courtesy?
If you were the one putting out the Mayday what would you want to happen ??
It's just common sense !
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  #23  
Old 13th April 2018, 08:08
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I responded to a distress flare and found a "Gin Palace" whose inebriated passengers thought they would have some fun having fireworks add to the party.
It was duly recorded and reported but I did not follow up with the result. Disgusted.
When by the "Law of the Sea", let alone SOLAS, you are morally obligated to respond to a distress signal, yet know the shareholders take a dim view of anything that detracts from their profit and your career is on the line, it does make you stop and think twice before going into action.
A clear case of turbulent weather/bona fide ship and a distress call and the brain responds immediately. However the mentioned boat people and deliberate dustruction of their craft when close alongside? Hmmmm
Human life is sacrosanct in my view, but human greed and stupidity is not.
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  #24  
Old 13th April 2018, 11:25
George Bis George Bis is offline
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Originally Posted by sbkenn View Post
I grew up on a barge, my parents ran a boat rental company in Ireland. IMO, if someone is in trouble, at sea, or just in the water, that is pretty much all that matters. A small tanker, "Steersman" came to my aid some years ago. Having a small fire on board, they didn't approach, but stationed broadside to the swell to make our position more comfortable, and to be close by if we needed to abandon ship. It took 4 hours for the lifeboat to reach us, then another hour before they started the tow. Many thanks to Steersman and her crew for their assistance and prayers that were signaled by turning on their fire monitors.
A few years later, someone needed help in the harbour where I am. I called 999, and ran to help. I called to the bouncers of a nite-club that someone needed help, but they ignored me. I swam out to the guy, and pulled his inert body back to the steps where emergency services took over. I found out later that he had intended to take his own life (he succeeded). 2 weeks later, passing the club, I said "thanks for your help the other day". The response was "if someone wants to top himself, why should we interfere".
Steersman was one of Rowbottoms fleet I am thinking
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  #25  
Old 13th April 2018, 11:42
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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In the fifties I recall or I may be wrong but did the Danish navy refuse to help a British trawler in distress during a fishing dispute?maybe some of our brethren can recall this? I hope I am mistaken it's hard to imagine anyone not going to aid anyone in such circumstances.
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