46 USC § 2303
Duties related to marine casualty assistance and information
through Pub. L. 116-344, except Pub. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283

(a) The master or individual in charge of a vessel involved in a marine casualty shall—

(1) render necessary assistance to each individual affected to save that affected individual from danger caused by the marine casualty, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master's or individual's vessel or to individuals on board; and

(2) give the master's or individual's name and address and identification of the vessel to the master or individual in charge of any other vessel involved in the casualty, to any individual injured, and to the owner of any property damaged.

(b) An individual violating this section or a regulation prescribed under this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years. The vessel also is liable in rem to the United States Government for the fine.

(c) An individual complying with subsection (a) of this section or gratuitously and in good faith rendering assistance at the scene of a marine casualty without objection by an individual assisted, is not liable for damages as a result of rendering assistance or for an act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment, or other assistance when the individual acts as an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent individual would have acted under the circumstances.

Open Table
Historical and Revision Notes
Revised section Source section (U.S. Code)
2303(a) 33:367


2303(b) 33:368
2303(c) 46:1465(b)

Section 2303 requires a master or anyone in charge of a vessel to provide assistance and render aid to those involved in a marine casualty and to exchange information in a manner similar to automobile accident cases. It also includes a "Good Samaritan" clause that exonerates anyone from liability when rendering assistance in an ordinary, reasonable, or prudent manner.

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