2018 US Code
Title 46 - Shipping
Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
Part A - General Provisions
Chapter 23 - Operation of Vessels Generally
Sec. 2303 - Duties related to marine casualty assistance and information

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Citation 46 U.S.C. § 2303 (2018)
Section Name §2303. Duties related to marine casualty assistance and information
Section Text

(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

(2) give the master's or individual's name and address and identification of the vessel to the master or individual in charge of any other vessel involved in the casualty, to any individual injured, and to the owner of any property damaged.


(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 Credit

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 509.)

Editorial Notes
Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
2303(a) 33:36746:1465(a)
2303(b) 33:368
2303(c) 46:1465(b)

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.

Publication Title United States Code, 2018 Edition, Title 46 - SHIPPING
Category Bills and Statutes
Collection United States Code
SuDoc Class Number Y 1.2/5:
Contained Within Title 46 - SHIPPING
Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
Part A - General Provisions
CHAPTER 23 - OPERATION OF VESSELS GENERALLY
Sec. 2303 - Duties related to marine casualty assistance and information
Contains section 2303
Date 2018
Laws In Effect As Of Date January 14, 2019
Positive Law Yes
Disposition standard
Statutes at Large References 97 Stat. 509
Public Law References Public Law 98-89
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