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SEC. 4413. Every pilot, engineer, mate, or master of any steam vessel who neglects or willfully refuses to observe the regulations established in pursuance of the preceding section shall be liable to a penalty of fifty dollars and for all damages sustained by any passenger, in his person or baggage, by such neglect or refusal. (46 U.S. Č. 381.)
Safe navigation SEC. 4487. On any steamers navigating rivers only, when from darkness, fog, or other cause the pilot or (on) watch shall be of opinion that the navigation is unsafe, or from accident to or derangement of the machinery of the boat the chief engineer shall be of the opinion that the further navigation of the vessel is unsafe, the vessel shall be brought to anchor or moored as soon as it can prudently be done: Provided, That if the person in command shall, after being so admonished by either of such officers, elect to pursue such voyage, he may do the same; but in such case both he and the owners of such steamer shall be answerable for all damages which shall arise to the person of any passenger or his baggage from such causes in so pursuing the voyage, and no degree of care or diligence shall in such case be held to justify or excuse the person in command or the owners. (46 U.S. C. 480.)
MOTORBOAT ACT OF 1940 18
Motorboat defined; inspection SEC. 1. That the word "motorboat" where used in this Act shall include every vessel propelled by machinery and not more than sixty-five feet in length except tugboats and towboats propelled by steam. The length shall be measured from end to end over the deck, excluding sheer: Provided, That the engine, boiler, or other operating machinery shall be subject to inspection by the local inspectors steam vessels, and to their approval of the design thereof, on all said motorboats, which are more than forty feet in length, and which are propelled by machinery driven by steam.
Classes of motorboats SEC. 2. Motorboats subject to the provisions of this Act shall be divided into four classes as follows:
Class A. Less than sixteen feet in length.
Class 3. Forty feet or over and not more than sixty-five feet in length.
18 An act to amend laws for preventing collisions of vessels, to regulate the equipment of certain motorboats on the navigable waters of the United States, and for other purposes. Approved April 25, 1940. (54 Stat. 163; 46 U.S. C.626–526t.)
10 Local inspectors have been abolished by order of the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, and are replaced by Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection.
Lights SEC. 3. Every motorboat in all weathers from sunset to sunrise shall
carry and exhibit the following lights when under way, and during such time no other lights which may be mistaken for those prescribed shall be exhibited:
(a) Every motorboat of classes A and 1 shall carry the following lights: First. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon.
Second. A combined lantern in the fore part of the vessel and lower than the white light aft, showing green to starboard and red to port, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on their respective sides.
(6) Every motorboat of classes 2 and 3 shall carry the following lights:
First. A bright white light in the fore part of the vessel as near the stem as practicable, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of twenty points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light ten points on each side of the vessel; namely, from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on either side.
Second. A bright white light aft to show all around the horizon and higher than the white light forward.
Third. On the starboard side a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the starboard side. On the port side a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of ten points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to two points abaft the beam on the port side. The said side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens of sufficient height so set as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.
(c) Motorboats of classes 2 and 3, when propelled by sail and machinery, or by sail alone, shall carry the colored side lights, suitably screened, but not the white lights prescribed by this section: Provided, however, That motorboats of all classes, when so propelled, shall carry, ready at hand, a lantern or flashlight showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to avert collision: Provided further, That motorboats of classes A and 1, when so propelled, shall not be required to carry the combined lantern prescribed by subsection (a) of this section.
(d) Every white light prescribed by this section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least two miles. Every colored light prescribed by this section shall be of such character as to be visible at a distance of at least one mile. The word “visible” in this Act, when applied to lights, shall mean visible on a dark night with clear atmosphere.
Whistles SEC. 4. Every motorboat of class 1, 2, or 3, shall be provided with an efficient whistle or other sound-producing mechanical appliance.
SEC. 5. Every motorboat of class 2 or 3 shall be provided with an efficient bell.
Lifesaving appliances SEC. 6. Every motorboat subject to any of the provisions of this Act and also all vessels propelled by machinery other than by steam more than sixty-five feet in length shall carry at least one life preserver, or life belt, or ring buoy, or other device of the sort prescribed by the regulations of the Board of Supervising Inspectors 20 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce,20 for each person on board, so placed as to be readily accessible: Provided, That every such motorboat and every such vessel propelled by machinery other than by steam more than sixty-five feet in length carrying passengers for hire shall carry so placed as to be readily accessible at least one life preserver of the sort prescribed by the regulations of the Board of Supervising Inspectors 20 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce,20 for each person on board.
Licensed operator-passenger motorboat Sec. 7. No such motorboat, while carrying passengers for hire, shall be operated or navigated except in charge of a person duly licensed for such service by a local board of inspectors. 21° Whenever any person applies to be licensed as operator of any motorboat carrying passengers for hire, the inspectors 21 shall make diligent inquiry as to his character, and shall carefully examine the applicant orally as well as the proofs which he presents in support of his claim, and if they are satisfied that his capacity, experience, habits of life, and character are such as to warrant the belief that he can safely be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of the station for which he makes application, they shall grant him a license authorizing him to discharge such duties on any such motorboat carrying passengers for hire for the term of five years. Such license shall be subject to suspension or revocation on the same grounds and in the same manner and with like procedure as is provided in the case of suspension or revocation of licenses of officers under the provisions of section 4450 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (U. S. C., 1934 edition, Supp: III, title 46, sec. 239): Provided, That motorboats shall not be required to carry licensed officers except as required in this Act: And provided further, That licenses herein prescribed shall not be required of motorboats engaged in fishing contests previously arranged and announced.
Fire extinguishers Sec. 8. Every motorboat and also every vessel propelled by machinery other than by steam more than sixty-five feet in length shall be provided with such number, size, and type of fire extinguishers, capable of promptly and effectually extinguishing burning gasoline,
30 Under Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1946 (11 F. R. 7875), all the functions of the Board of Supervising Inspectors, and the functions of the Secretary of Commerce under this
act are transferred to the Commandant, U. S. Coast Guard.
11 See note 19, p. 37.
as may be prescribed by the regulations of the Board of Supervising Inspectors, 22 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce,22 which fire extinguishers shall be at all times kept in condition for immediate and effective use and shall be so placed as to be readily accessible.
Eremptions for outboard racing motorboats Sec. 9. The provisions of sections 4, 5, and 8 of this Act shall not apply to motorboats propelled by outboard motors while competing in any race previously arranged and announced or, if such boats be designed and intended solely for racing, while engaged in such navigation as is incidental to the tuning up of the boats and engines for the race.
Sec. 10. Every motorboat and also every vessel propelled by machinery other than by steam more than sixty-five feet in length shall bave the carburetor or carburetors of every engine therein (except outboard motor) using gasoline as fuel, equipped with such efficient flame arrestor, backfire trap, or other similar device as may be prescribed by the regulations of the Boards of Supervising Inspectors 22 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce:22 Provided, That this section shall apply only to such motorboats or vessels, the construction of which or the replacement of the engine or engines of which is commenced subsequent to the passage of this Act.
Ventilaiion of bilges Sec. 11. Every such motorboat and every such vessel, except open boats using as fuel any liquid of a volatile nature, shall be provided with such means as may be prescribed by regulations of the Board of Supervising, Inspectors 22 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce 22 for properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of the engine and fuel tank compartment so as to remove any explosive or inflammable gases: Provided, That this section shall apply only to such motorboats or vessels, the construction or decking over of which is commenced subsequent to the passage of this Act.
Pilot rules not required SEC. 12. Motorboats shall not be required to carry on board copies of the pilot rules.
Negligent operation SEC. 13. No person shall operate any motorboat or any vessel in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.
Penalty for negligent operation Sec. 14. Any person who shall operate any motorboat or any vessel in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof by any court of competent jurisdiction shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000, or by imprisonment for a term of not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonmeni, at the discretion of the court.
Authority to arrest for negligent operation SEC. 15. Any officer of the United States authorized to enforce the navigation laws of the United States, shall have power and authority to swear out process and to arrest and take into custody, with or without process, any person who may commit any act or offense prohibited by section 13, or who may violate any provision of said section: Provided, That no person shall be arrested without process for any offense not committed in the presence of some one of the aforesaid officials: Provided further, That whenever an arrest is made under the provisions of this act, the person so arrested shall be brought forthwith before a commissioner, judge, or court of the United States for examination of the offense alleged against him, and such commissioner, judge, or court shall proceed in respect thereto as authorized by law in cases of crimes against the United States.
Penalty for other violations of Act SEC. 16. If any motorboat or vessel subject to any of the provisions of this Act is operated or navigated in violation of this Act or any regulation issued thereunder, the owner or operator, either one or both of them, shall, in addition to any other penalty prescribed by law than that contained in section 14 of this Act, be liable to a penalty of $100: Provided, That in the case of motorboats or vessels subject to the provisions of this Act carrying passengers for hire, a penalty of $200 shall be imposed on the owner or operator, either one or both of them, thereof for any violation of section 6, 7, or 8 of this Act or of any regulations pertaining thereto. For any penalty incurred under this section the motorboat or vessel shall be held liable and may be proceeded against by way of libel in the district court of any district in which said motorboat or vessel may be found.
Regulations; enforcement Sec. 17. The Board of Supervising Inspectors 23 with the approval of the Secretary of Commerce 23 shall establish all necessary regulations required to carry out in the most effective manner all of the provisions of this act, and such regulations when approved by the Secretary of Commerce 23 shall have the force of law. The Secretary of Commerce or any officer of the Department of Commerce authorized by the Secretary of Commerce 23 may, upon application therefore, remit or mitigate any fine, penalty, or forfeiture incurred under this Act or any regulation thereunder relating to motorboats or vessels, except the penalties provided for in section 14 hereunder. The Secretary of Commerce 23 shall establish such regulations as may be necessary to secure the enforcement of the provisions of this Act by any officer
23 See note 20, p. 39.