Maritime Safety Act 2005
Conduct endangering vessels, structures or individuals.
27.—(1) This section applies to the master, or another member of the crew, of an Irish ship in waters anywhere or any other vessel while in Irish waters.
(2) If a person to whom this section applies, while on board his or her vessel or in her immediate vicinity—
(a) does any act which causes or is likely to cause—
(i) the loss or destruction of or serious damage to his or her vessel or machinery, navigation equipment or safety equipment on board the vessel,
(ii) the loss or destruction of or serious damage to any other vessel or any structure, or
(iii) the death of or serious injury to any person,
(b) omits to do anything required—
(i) to preserve his or her vessel or machinery, navigation equipment or safety equipment on board the vessel from being lost, destroyed or seriously damaged,
(ii) to preserve any person on board his or her vessel from death or serious injury, or
(iii) to prevent his or her vessel from causing the loss or destruction of or serious damage to any other vessel or any structure, or the death of or serious injury to any person not on board his or her vessel,
and the act or omission was deliberate or amounted to a breach or neglect of duty or the person to whom this section applies was under the influence of alcohol or a drug or any combination of drugs or drugs and alcohol at the time of the act or omission, that person is, subject to subsection (4), guilty of an offence.
(3) 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 €100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.
(4) In a prosecution for an offence under this section it shall be a defence to prove—
(a) that the defendant could have avoided committing the offence only by disobeying a lawful command, or
(b) that in all the circumstances the loss, destruction, damage, death or injury in question or, as the case may be, the likelihood of its being caused either could not reasonably have been foreseen by the defendant or could not reasonably have been avoided by him or her, or
(c) if the act or omission alleged against the defendant constituted a breach or neglect of duty, the defendant took all reasonable steps to discharge that duty.
(5) In this section—
“breach or neglect of duty”, except in relation to a person in command or in charge, includes any disobedience to a lawful command;
(a) in relation to a master or another crew member, means any duty falling to be discharged by him or her in his or her capacity as such, and
(b) in relation to a master, includes his or her duty with respect to the good management of his or her vessel and his or her duty with respect to the safety of operation of his or her vessel, or machinery and equipment on board;
“structure” means any fixed or movable structure (of whatever description) other than a vessel.