Sea Pollution Act 1991
Detention of ships.
24.— F22 [ (1) Whenever an inspector or a harbour-master has reasonable cause to believe that a ship has caused or may cause pollution and the ship is in the State, he may stop and detain the ship, or take it to such place in the State as he considers appropriate and there detain it. ]
(2) The powers conferred on a harbour-master by subsection (1) may only be exercised whilst the ship concerned is within the harbour over which he has control.
(3) Any ship which is detained pursuant to section 22 (2) or subsection (1) of this section shall be released if—
( a) the inspector or the harbour-master is reasonably satisfied that the ship no longer presents a serious threat to living marine resources or has ceased to be a cause of pollution, as the case may be, or
( b) the inspector is of the opinion that the ship can put to sea or leave the harbour for the purpose of proceeding to the nearest repair yard without presenting an undue threat of damage to flora or fauna or to living marine resources, and—
(i) the master of the ship undertakes to have the defect in the ship, or its equipment, whereby the ship is a cause of pollution, remedied, and
(ii) the owner of the ship puts forward security which, in the opinion of the inspector, is satisfactory for the payment of the cost of remedying any pollution damage which may be caused by the ship whilst it is on its voyage to the nearest repair yard.
(4) If a ship which has been detained pursuant to this section leaves or attempts to leave any harbour or other place otherwise than in accordance with this section the owner and the master of the ship shall each be guilty of an offence and the ship, wherever it may be, may be detained, or be further detained, by an inspector or by a harbour-master in his harbour.
(5) An inspector or a harbour-master, in the exercise of his powers under this Act, shall not unduly detain or delay a ship.