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The Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983

( Ordinance NO. XXVI Of 1983 )

Chapter 29

NAVIGATION

Obligation to render assistance on receiving signal of distress
364. (1) The master of a Bangladesh ship on receiving at sea a signal of distress or information from any source that a vessel or aircraft is in distress shall proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress (informing them if possible that he is doing so) unless he is unable or in the special circumstances of the case considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to do so or unless he is released from such obligation under the provisions of sub section (3) or sub section (4).
 
 
(2) Where the master of any ship in distress has requisitioned any Bangladesh ship that has answered his call, it shall be the duty of the master of the requisitioned ship to comply with the requisition by continuing to proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress unless he is released from the obligation under the provisions of sub section (4).
 
 
 
 
(3) The master shall be released from the obligation imposed by sub section (1) as soon as he is informed of the requisition of one or more ships other than his own and that the requisition is being complied with by the ship or ships requisitioned.
 
 
 
 
(4) The master shall be released from the obligation imposed by sub section (1), and, if his ship has been requisitioned, from the obligation imposed by sub-section (2), if he is informed by the persons in distress that assistance is no longer required.
 
 
 
 
(5) If the master of any Bangladesh ship on receiving at sea a signal of distress or information from any source that a vessel or aircraft is in distress is unable or in the special circumstances of the case considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to go to the assistance of the persons in distress, he shall forthwith cause a statement to be entered in the official log book or, if there is no official log book, cause other record to be kept of his reasons for not going to the assistance of those persons; and if he fails to do so he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to ten thousand Taka.
 
 
 
 
(6) The master of every Bangladesh ship for which an official log is required shall enter or cause to be entered in the official log book every signal of distress or message that a vessel, aircraft or person is in distress at sea.
 
 
 
 
(7) Any master failing to comply with the provisions of sub section (1) or sub section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand Taka, or with both.
 
 
(8) The Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules prescribing-
 
 
 
 
(a) the manner of communicating information regarding dangers to navigation, and the authorities on shore to whom such information is to be communicated;
 
 
 
 
(b) the signals which shall be signals of distress and of urgency, respectively;
 
 
 
 
(c) the circumstances in which, and the purposes for which, any such signal is to be used, and the circumstances in which it is to be revoked; and
 
 
 
 
(d) the speed at which any message sent by radio telegraphy in connection with such signal is to be transmitted.

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Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs