[USC02] 46 USC Ch. 61: REPORTING MARINE CASUALTIES
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46 USC Ch. 61: REPORTING MARINE CASUALTIES
From Title 46—SHIPPINGSubtitle II—Vessels and SeamenPart D—Marine Casualties

CHAPTER 61—REPORTING MARINE CASUALTIES

Sec.
6101.
Marine casualties and reporting.
6102.
State marine casualty reporting system.
6103.
Penalty.
6104.
Commercial fishing industry vessel casualty statistics.

        

Historical and Revision Notes

Chapter 61 provides for the reporting of marine casualties and incidents involving all United States flag vessels occurring anywhere in the world and any foreign flag vessel operating on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Amendments

1988Pub. L. 100–424, §4(c), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1591, added item 6104.

§6101. Marine casualties and reporting

(a) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations on the marine casualties to be reported and the manner of reporting. The regulations shall require reporting the following marine casualties:

(1) death of an individual.

(2) serious injury to an individual.

(3) material loss of property.

(4) material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel.

(5) significant harm to the environment.


(b) A marine casualty shall be reported within 5 days as provided in this part and regulations prescribed under this part. Each report filed under this section shall include information as to whether the use of alcohol contributed to the casualty.

(c) Notice to State and Tribal Governments.—Not later than 24 hours after receiving a notice of a major marine casualty under this section, the Secretary shall notify each State or federally recognized Indian tribe that is, or may reasonably be expected to be, affected by such marine casualty.

(d)(1) This part applies to a foreign vessel when involved in a marine casualty on the navigable waters of the United States.

(2) This part applies, to the extent consistent with generally recognized principles of international law, to a foreign vessel constructed or adapted to carry, or that carries, oil in bulk as cargo or cargo residue involved in a marine casualty described under subsection (a)(4) or (5) in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including the Exclusive Economic Zone.

(e) A marine casualty not resulting in the death of an individual shall be classified according to the gravity of the casualty, as prescribed by regulation, giving consideration to the extent of injuries to individuals, the extent of property damage, the dangers that the casualty creates, and the size, occupation, and means of propulsion of each vessel involved.

(f)(1) This chapter applies to a marine casualty involving a United States citizen on a foreign passenger vessel operating south of 75 degrees north latitude, west of 35 degrees west longitude, and east of the International Date Line; or operating in the area south of 60 degrees south latitude that—

(A) embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States; or

(B) transports passengers traveling under any form of air and sea ticket package marketed in the United States.


(2) When there is a marine casualty described in paragraph (1) of this subsection and an investigation is conducted, the Secretary shall ensure that the investigation—

(A) is thorough and timely; and

(B) produces findings and recommendations to improve safety on passenger vessels.


(3) When there is a marine casualty described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary may—

(A) seek a multinational investigation of the casualty under auspices of the International Maritime Organization; or

(B) conduct an investigation of the casualty under chapter 63 of this title.


(g) To the extent consistent with generally recognized practices and procedures of international law, this part applies to a foreign vessel involved in a marine casualty or incident, as defined in the International Maritime Organization Code for the Investigation of Marine Casualties and Incidents, where the United States is a Substantially Interested State and is, or has the consent of, the Lead Investigating State under the Code.

(h) The Secretary shall publish all major marine casualty reports prepared in accordance with this section in an electronic form, and shall provide information electronically regarding how other marine casualty reports can be obtained.

(i) For purposes of this section, the term "major marine casualty" means a casualty involving a vessel, other than a public vessel, that results in—

(1) the loss of 6 or more lives;

(2) the loss of a mechanically propelled vessel of 100 or more gross tons;

(3) property damage initially estimated at $2,000,000 or more; or

(4) serious threat, as determined by the Commandant with concurrence by the Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, to life, property, or the environment by hazardous materials.


(j) The Secretary shall publish all marine casualty reports prepared in accordance with this section in an electronic form.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 536; Pub. L. 98–498, title II, §212(b)(1), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2306; Pub. L. 98–557, §7(b)(1), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862; Pub. L. 101–380, title IV, §4106(b), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 102–241, §33, Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2222; Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, §§423, 442(a), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2125, 2132; Pub. L. 109–241, title IX, §901(o), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 565; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(21), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1704; Pub. L. 110–181, div. C, title XXXV, §3529(c)(1), Jan. 28, 2008, 122 Stat. 603; Pub. L. 113–281, title III, §312, Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3048; Pub. L. 115–232, div. C, title XXXV, §§3541(b)(11), 3546(d), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2323, 2326; Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §211, Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3749.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
6101 46:239

46:1486

33:361

33:365

6101(b) 33:362

Section 6101(a) requires the Secretary to prescribe regulations on the types and manner of reporting of marine casualties to be reported under subsection (b) and incidents to be reported under subsection (c). The casualties to be reported must include casualties involving death to an individual, serious injury to an individual, material loss of property, and any damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel, in addition to the other casualties (if any) the Secretary feels should be reported.

Subsection (b) requires the owner, charterer, agent, master, operator, or individual in charge of a vessel to report within 5 days, any casualty required in subsection (a) or by regulation.

Subsection (c) requires the owner, charterer, managing operator, or agent of a U.S. vessel to immediately determine the status of their vessel if they have not heard from the vessel, if it has not passed a scheduled point, or for any other reason which may indicate the vessel may have been lost or imperiled. If the owner, charterer, managing operator, or agent cannot reach the vessel and determine that it is operating safely, then they shall immediately notify the Coast Guard and provide the Coast Guard with the name and number of the vessel, the names of individuals on board, and any other information that the Coast Guard may request. If communication with the vessel indicates the vessel was involved in a casualty, then the owner, charterer, or agent of the vessel must immediately notify the Coast Guard under subsection (b). Notification to the Coast Guard does not impose or create any additional responsibility for the Coast Guard to take search and rescue action beyond those already existing under title 14, United States Code.

Subsection (d) makes it clear that the reporting requirements under subsection (b) are applicable to foreign vessels involved in a marine casualty when operating on the navigable waters of the United States, whether in innocent passage or not.

Subsection (e) provides for the classification of marine casualties by regulation according to the gravity of the casualty, injuries to individuals, property damage, dangers created, and size, occupation, and means of propulsion of each vessel.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (i)(3). Pub. L. 115–265 substituted "$2,000,000" for "$500,000".

Subsec. (i)(4). Pub. L. 115–232, §3541(b)(11), struck out "of the Coast Guard" after "Commandant".

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 115–232, §3546(d), struck out ", as soon as possible, and no later than January 1, 2005," after "The Secretary shall".

2014—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–281, §312(1), added subsec. (c).

Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 113–281, §312(2), in subsec. (h), struck out "(1)" before "The Secretary" and redesignated par. (2) as subsec. (i) and, in subsec. (i), substituted "section" for "paragraph" in introductory provisions and redesignated former subpars. (A) to (D) as pars. (1) to (4), respectively. Former subsec. (i) redesignated (j).

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 113–281, §312(3), resesignated subsec. (i) as (j).

2008—Subsecs. (g) to (i). Pub. L. 110–181 repealed Pub. L. 109–304, §15(21). See 2006 Amendment notes below.

2006—Subsecs. (g) to (i). Pub. L. 109–304, §15(21), which directed amendment identical to that made by Pub. L. 109–241, was repealed by Pub. L. 110–181. See Construction of 2006 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 109–241 redesignated the second subsec. (g), relating to electronic publishing of marine casualty reports, and subsec. (h) as subsecs. (h) and (i), respectively.

2002—Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 107–295, §423(1), redesignated subsec. (e), relating to passenger vessel investigations, as subsec. (f).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 107–295, §442(a), added subsec. (g) relating to electronic publishing of marine casualty reports.

Pub. L. 107–295, §423(2), added subsec. (g) relating to applicability of this part to a foreign vessel involved in a marine casualty or incident.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 107–295, §442(a), added subsec. (h).

1991—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–241 added subsec. (e) relating to passenger vessel investigations.

1990—Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 101–380, §4106(b)(1), added par. (5).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–380, §4106(b)(2), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–498, §212(b)(1)(A), struck out "and incidents" after "marine casualties" in provisions preceding par. (1).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–557 inserted provisions relating to alcohol as a contributing factor to the casualty.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–498, §212(b)(1)(B), struck out subsec. (c) which related to determination of status of a vessel that may be lost or imperiled and notification of the Coast Guard.

Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, §442(b), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2132, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] applies to all marine casualty reports completed after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 25, 2002]."

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–380 applicable to incidents occurring after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 of Pub. L. 101–380, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2701 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–498 effective 180 days after Oct. 1, 1984, see section 214 of Pub. L. 98–498, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2306 of this title.

Construction of 2006 Amendment

Provisions of Pub. L. 109–304 repealed by section 3529(c)(1) of Pub. L. 110–181 to be treated as if never enacted, see section 3529(c)(2) of Pub. L. 110–181, set out as a note under section 9504 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

§6102. State marine casualty reporting system

(a) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations for a uniform State marine casualty reporting system for vessels. Regulations shall prescribe the casualties to be reported and the manner of reporting. A State shall compile and submit to the Secretary reports, information, and statistics on casualties reported to the State, including information and statistics concerning the number of casualties in which the use of alcohol contributed to the casualty.

(b) The Secretary shall collect, analyze, and publish reports, information, and statistics on marine casualties together with findings and recommendations the Secretary considers appropriate. If a State marine casualty reporting system provides that information derived from casualty reports (except statistical information) may not be publicly disclosed, or otherwise prohibits use by the State or any person in any action or proceeding against a person, the Secretary may use the information provided by the State only in the same way that the State may use the information.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 536; Pub. L. 98–557, §7(b)(2), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
6102 46:1486

Section 6102(a) requires the Secretary to prescribe regulations for a uniform State marine casualty reporting system for vessels. The Secretary may limit the scope and types of casualties to be investigated and reported by the State. It also requires the State to submit to the Secretary reports, information, and statistics on casualties reported to the State.

Subsection (b) requires the Secretary to analyze the information that is received from the State. It also prohibits the Secretary from disclosing the information, proceeding against any person based on this information, or otherwise using the information, if the State cannot use the information in the same way.

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–557 inserted provisions relating to alcohol as a contributing factor to the casualty.

Plan To Increase Marine Casualty Reporting

Pub. L. 104–324, title III, §314(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3922, provided that: "Not later than one year after enactment of this Act [Oct. 19, 1996], the Secretary of Transportation shall, in consultation with appropriate State agencies, submit to the Committee on Resources [now Committee on Natural Resources] of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a plan to increase reporting of vessel accidents to appropriate State law enforcement officials."

§6103. Penalty

(a) An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel failing to report a casualty as required under section 6101 of this title or a regulation prescribed under section 6101 or 6102 is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $25,000.

(b) A person failing to comply with section 6104 of this title or a regulation prescribed under that section is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 536; Pub. L. 98–498, title II, §212(b)(2), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2306; Pub. L. 100–424, §4(b), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1590; Pub. L. 104–324, title III, §§306(a), 314(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3918, 3922.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
6103 33:361

33:362

Section 6103 provides for a civil penalty of $1,000 for any owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel that fails to report a casualty required to be reported under subsection (b) of section 6101 or an incident required to be reported under subsection (c) of section 6101.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "or 6102" before "is liable" and substituted "not more than $25,000" for "$1,000".

1988Pub. L. 100–424 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

1984Pub. L. 98–498 struck out "or incident" after "a casualty".

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–498 effective 180 days after Oct. 19, 1984, see section 214 of Pub. L. 98–498, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2306 of this title.

§6104. Commercial fishing industry vessel casualty statistics

(a) The Secretary shall compile statistics concerning marine casualties from data compiled from insurers of fishing vessels, fish processing vessels, and fish tender vessels.

(b) A person underwriting primary insurance for a fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, or fish tender vessel shall submit periodically to the Secretary data concerning marine casualties that is required by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(c) After consulting with the insurance industry, the Secretary shall prescribe regulations under this section to gather a statistical base for analyzing vessel risks.

(d) The Secretary may delegate to a qualified person that has knowledge and experience in the collection of statistical insurance data the authority of the Secretary under this section to compile statistics from insurers.

(Added Pub. L. 100–424, §4(a), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1590.)