Preliminary inquiry into shipping casualties
416. (1) On receipt of information that a shipping casualty has occurred, a preliminary inquiry may be held respecting the casualty, and if the Government so directs, by general or special order, such inquiry shall be held-
(a) where the shipping casualty occurs on or near the coast of Bangladesh, including the territorial waters thereof, by the Principal Officer at or near the place where the casualty occurs, or a Surveyor authorised by him; or
(b) where the shipping casualty occurs elsewhere, by the Principal Officer to whom the casualty has been reported or a Surveyor authorised by him;
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub section (1), the Government may appoint any person to hold a preliminary inquiry respecting any shipping casualty.
(3) Any person holding an inquiry under this section-
(a) may go on board any ship, and may inspect the same or any part thereof, or any of the machinery, boats, equipments or articles on board thereof, to which the provisions of this Ordinance apply, not unnecessarily detaining or delaying her from proceeding on any voyage;
(b) may enter and inspect any premises the entry or inspection of which appears to him to be necessary for the purpose of the inquiry;
(c) may, by summons under his hand, require the attendance of all such persons as he thinks fit to call before him and examine for such purpose, and may require answers or returns to any inquiries he thinks fit to make;
(d) may require and enforce the production of all books, papers or documents which he considers important for such purpose; and
(e) may administer oaths, or may, in lieu of requiring or administering an oath, require any person examined by him to make and subscribe a declaration of the truth of the statements made by him in his examination.
(4) An officer making a preliminary inquiry under this section shall send report thereof to the Government.