46 U.S. Code § 2303 - Duties related to marine casualty assistance and information
(a) The master or individual in charge of a vessel involved in a marine casualty shall—
(1) render necessary assistance to each individual affected to save that affected individual from danger caused by the marine casualty, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or to individuals on board; and
(b) An individual violating this section or a regulation prescribed under this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years. The vessel also is liable in rem to the United States Government for the fine.
(c) An individual complying with subsection (a) of this section or gratuitously and in good faith rendering assistance at the scene of a marine casualty without objection by an individual assisted, is not liable for damages as a result of rendering assistance or for an act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment, or other assistance when the individual acts as an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent individual would have acted under the circumstances.
Source(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 509.)
|Revised section||Source section (U.S. Code)|
Section 2303 requires a master or anyone in charge of a vessel to provide assistance and render aid to those involved in a marine casualty and to exchange information in a manner similar to automobile accident cases. It also includes a “Good Samaritan” clause that exonerates anyone from liability when rendering assistance in an ordinary, reasonable, or prudent manner.