49 CFR § 176.45 - Emergency situations.
(a) When an accident occurs on board a vessel involving hazardous materials, and the safety of the vessel, its passengers or crew are endangered, the master shall adopt such procedures as will, in his judgment, provide maximum safety for the vessel, its passengers, and its crew. When the accident results in damaged packages or the emergency use of unauthorized packagings, these packages may not be offered to any forwarding carrier for transportation. The master shall notify the nearest Captain of the Port, U.S. Coast Guard, and request instructions for disposition of the packages.
(b) Hazardous materials may be jettisoned only if the master believes this action necessary to prevent or substantially reduce a hazard to human life or reduce a substantial hazard to property.