Not By Act of Parliament
Having never sailed on foreign flag ships Iíve often wondered what manner of law was applicable on say Panamanian or Liberian flag ships. We were fortunate having the good old MSA in order that in theory,throughout our merchant fleet, in say discipline matters, justice was fairly administrated. regardless of company, ship size or trade. A fireman who misses a watch and punches the second engineer on the nose would if the law was enforced loose a days pay and fined 10/- for the fisticuffs
Regardless whether it was an ocean liner in Cape Town or a humble tramp in Zamboanga. Or we knew by the MSA if a death had occurred on board then it was advisable to get three signatures in the log book, particularly if there was a doctor aboard. I am referring to times past as I suspect international rules are now applicable. I know I always carried a copy of the MSA with me when I sailed master. But that wasínt yesterday. I would hasten to add that I was perhaps fortunate in my time as master that I never had occasion to log or fine a man.. I only paid off one man who I considered was not worthy of VG in his book. Complying with the MSA I consulted the Shipping Office Superintendent who concurred. So how was it done on Panamanian flag vessels ?