Maritime Safety Act 2005
Prohibition on sailing unscaworthy vessels.
20.—(1) If a vessel, having regard to the nature of the service for which she is intended, goes out or attempts to go out to sea or into waters in such an unseaworthy state that the life of any person is likely to be or is endangered, then, the person in command or in charge, and the owner, of the vessel and any person sending her to sea, who knows or could have discovered by the exercise of ordinary care that the vessel is in such an unseaworthy state, is guilty of an offence.
(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—
( a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both, or
( b) on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.
(3) In a prosecution for an offence under this section it is a defence for the defendant to show that—
( a) the vessel going out to sea or into waters in an unseaworthy state was, under the circumstances, reasonable and justifiable, or
( b) he or she used all reasonable means to ensure the vessel was seaworthy.