46 U.S.C. § 2302 - Penalties for negligent operations and interfering with safe operation

Cite as:46 U.S.C. § 2302
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-65 (10/09/2019)
 
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(a) A person operating a vessel in a negligent manner or interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of a person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 in the case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any other vessel.

(b) A person operating a vessel in a grossly negligent manner that endangers the life, limb, or property of a person commits a class A misdemeanor.

(c) An individual who is under the influence of alcohol, or a dangerous drug in violation of a law of the United States when operating a vessel, as determined under standards prescribed by the Secretary by regulation-

(1) is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000; or

(2) commits a class A misdemeanor.

(d) For a penalty imposed under this section, the vessel also is liable in rem unless the vessel is-

(1) owned by a State or a political subdivision of a State;

(2) operated principally for governmental purposes; and

(3) identified clearly as a vessel of that State or subdivision.

(e)

(1) A vessel may not transport Government-impelled cargoes if-

(A) the vessel has been detained and determined to be substandard by the Secretary for violation of an international safety convention to which the United States is a party, and the Secretary has published notice of that detention and determination in an electronic form, including the name of the owner of the vessel; or

(B) the operator of the vessel has on more than one occasion had a vessel detained and determined to be substandard by the Secretary for violation of an international safety convention to which the United States is a party, and the Secretary has published notice of that detention and determination in an electronic form, including the name of the owner of the vessel.

(2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) expires for a vessel on the earlier of-

(A) 1 year after the date of the publication in electronic form on which the prohibition is based; or

(B) any date on which the owner or operator of the vessel prevails in an appeal of the violation of the relevant international convention on which the detention is based.

(3) As used in this subsection, the term "Government-impelled cargo" means cargo for which a Federal agency contracts directly for shipping by water or for which (or the freight of which) a Federal agency provides financing, including financing by grant, loan, or loan guarantee, resulting in shipment of the cargo by water.

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