(a) The commanding officer of a vessel making a capture shall—
secure the documents of the captured vessel, including the log, and the documents of cargo, together with all other documents and papers, including letters, found on board;
inventory and seal all the documents and papers;
(3) send the inventory and documents and papers to the court in which proceedings are to be had, with a written statement—
that the documents and papers sent are all the papers found, or explaining the reasons why any are missing; and
that the documents and papers sent are in the same condition as found, or explaining the reasons why any are in different condition;
send as witnesses to the prize court the master, one or more of the other officers, the supercargo, purser, or agent of the prize, and any other person found on board whom he believes to be interested in or to know the title, national character, or destination of the prize, and if any of the usual witnesses cannot be sent, send the reasons therefor to the court; and
place a competent prize master and a prize crew on board the prize and send the prize, the witnesses, and all documents and papers, under charge of the prize master, into port for adjudication.
In the absence of instructions from higher authority as to the port to which the prize shall be sent for adjudication, the commanding officer of the capturing vessel shall select the port that he considers most convenient in view of the interests of probable claimants.
If the captured vessel, or any part of the captured property, is not in condition to be sent in for adjudication, the commanding officer of the capturing vessel shall have a survey and an appraisal made by competent and impartial persons. The reports of the survey and the appraisal shall be sent to the court in which proceedings are to be had. Property so surveyed and appraised, unless appropriated for the use of the United States, shall be sold under authority of the commanding officer present. Proceeds of the sale shall be deposited with the Treasurer of the United States or in the public depositary most accessible to the court in which proceedings are to be had and subject to its order in the cause.