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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 259: Power to direct vessel or marine installation to port

668.This section gives enforcement officers the power to direct a vessel or marine installation to the port they consider to be the nearest convenient port and detain it there. The section only applies in situations where an officer believes that an offence has been committed and it would not be practical to carry out their duties without first taking the vessel or marine installation to port and detaining it there, or where the officer believes that the vessel itself is evidence of the commission of an offence and the only way to preserve the evidence is to take it into port.

669.A convenient port may not be the nearest in terms just of distance, but may be, for example, the nearest one able to take the size of vessel, provide a berth or suitable storage facilities. The officer may take the vessel or installation there themselves, or arrange for someone else to take it, or require the person in charge of it to take it into port. For instance, arrangements may be made for a local pilot to take the vessel into port.

670.Subsection (3) provides that once the vessel or marine installation is in port, the officer may detain it or require the person in charge to do so.

671.Subsections (4) to (7) provide that enforcement officers are obliged to issue a written notice of detention to the person in charge of the vessel or marine installation. The notice must state that the vessel or marine installation will be detained until such time as the notice is withdrawn. The notice served under this subsection may be withdrawn by another written notice signed by an enforcement officer of the same authority as that of the enforcement officer who originally detained the vessel.

672.The power granted in this section is different from the power granted in section 279. That section provides for the detention of fishing vessels in relation to court proceedings. Detention of a vessel under section 259 may be performed for investigation purposes only.

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