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Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act 1932

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Chapter VArticle 33

Application

The provisions of this Chapter referring to ships, unless otherwise expressly provided, apply to all ships on all voyages. Article 34

Danger Messages

The master of every ship which meets with dangerous ice, a dangerous derelict, a dangerous tropical storm or any other direct danger to navigation is bound to communicate the information, by all the means of communication at his disposal, to the ships in the vicinity, and also to the competent authorities at the first point of the coast with which he can communicate. It is desirable that the said information be sent in the manner set out in Regulation XLVI. Each Administration will take all steps which it thinks necessary to ensure that when intelligence of any of the dangers specified in the previous paragraph is received, it will be promptly brought to the knowledge of those concerned and communicated to other Administrations interested. The transmission of messages respecting the dangers specified is free of cost to the ships concerned. Article 35

Meteorological Services

The Contracting Governments undertake to encourage the collection of meteorological data by ships at sea, and to arrange for their examination, dissemination and exchange in the manner most suitable for the purpose of aiding navigation. In particular, the Contracting Governments undertake to co-operate in carrying out, as far as practicable, the following meteorological arrangements:—

(a) To warn ships of gales, storms and tropical storms, both by the issue of wireless messages and by the display of appropriate signals at coastal points :

(b) To issue daily, by radio, weather bulletins suitable for shipping, containing data of existing weather conditions and forecasts :

(c) To arrange for certain selected ships to take meteorological observations at specified hours, and to transmit such observations by wireless telegraphy for the benefit of other ships and of the various official meteorological services; and to provide coast stations for the reception of the messages transmitted:

(d) To encourage all ship-masters to inform surrounding ships whenever they experience wind force of 10 or above on the Beaufort scale (force 8 or above on the decimal scale). The information provided for in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Article will be furnished in form for transmission in accordance with Article 31, sections 1, 3 and 5, and Article 19, section 25, of the General Regulations annexed to the International Radiotelegraph Convention, Washington, 1927, and during transmission " to all stations " of meteorological information, forecasts and warnings, all ship stations must conform to the provisions of Article 31, section 2, of those General Regulations. Weather observations from ships addressed to national meteorological services will be transmitted with the priority specified in Article 3, Additional Regulations, International Radiotelegraph Convention, Washington, 1927. Forecasts, warnings, synoptic and other meteorological reports intended for ships shall be issued and disseminated by the national service in the best position to serve various zones and areas, in accordance with mutual arrangements made by the countries concerned. Every endeavour will be made to obtain a uniform procedure in regard to the international meteorological services specified in this Article, and, as far as is practicable, to conform to the recommendations made by the International Meteorological Organization, to which organization the Contracting Governments may refer for study and advice any meteorological questions which may arise in carrying out the present Convention. Article 36

Ice Patrol. Derelicts

The Contracting Governments undertake to continue a service of ice patrol and a service for study and observation of ice conditions in the North Atlantic. Further, they undertake to take all practicable steps to ensure the destruction or removal of derelicts in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean east of the line drawn from Cape Sable to a point in latitude 34° N. longitude 70° W. if this destruction or removal is considered necessary at the time. The Contracting Governments undertake to provide not more than three vessels for these three services. During the whole of the ice season they shall be employed in guarding the south-eastern, southern and south-western limits of the regions of icebergs in the vicinity of the Great Bank of Newfoundland for the purpose of informing trans-Atlantic and other passing vessels of the extent of this dangerous region; for the observation and study of ice conditions in general; for the destruction or removal of derelicts; and for the purpose of affording assistance to vessels and crews requiring aid within the limits of operation of the patrol vessels. During the rest of the year the study and observation of ice conditions shall be maintained as advisable, and one vessel shall always be available for the search for, and destruction or removal of derelicts. Article 37

Ice Patrol. Management and Cost

The Government of the United States is invited to continue the management of these services of ice patrol, study and observation of ice conditions, and derelict destruction and removal. The Contracting Governments specially interested in these services, whose names are given below, undertake to contribute to the expense of maintaining and operating these services in the following proportions :—

Per cent.
Belgium2
Canada3
Denmark2
France6
Germany10
Great Britain and Northern Ireland40
Italy6
Japan1
Netherlands5
Norway3
Spain1
Sweden2
Union of Socialist Soviet Republics1
United States of America18

Each of the Contracting Governments has the right to discontinue its contribution to the expense of maintaining and operating these services after the 1st September, 1932. Nevertheless, the Contracting Government which avails itself of this right will continue responsible for the expense of working up to the 1st September following the date of giving notice of intention to discontinue its contribution. To take advantage of the said right it must give notice to the other Contracting Governments at least six months before the said 1st September; so that, to be free from this obligation on the 1st September, 1932, it must give notice on the 1st March, 1932, at the latest, and similarly for each subsequent year. If, at any time, the United States Government should not desire to continue these services, or if one of the Contracting Governments should express a wish to relinquish responsibility for the pecuniary contribution defined above, or to have its percentage of obligation altered, the Contracting Governments shall settle the question in accordance with their mutual interests. The Contracting Governments which contribute to the cost of the three above-mentioned services shall have the right by common consent to make from time to time such alterations in the provisions of this Article and of Article 36 as appear desirable. Article 38

Speed near Ice

When ice is reported on, or near, his course, the master of every ship at night is bound to proceed at a moderate speed or to alter his course so as to go well clear of the danger zone. Article 39

North Atlantic Routes

The practice of following recognised routes across the North Atlantic in both directions has contributed to safety of life at sea, but the working of these routes should be further investigated and studied with a view to the introduction of such variations as experience may show to be necessary. The selection of the routes and the initiation of action with regard to them is left to the responsibility of the steamship companies concerned. The Contracting Governments will assist the companies, when requested to do so, by placing at their disposal any information bearing on the routes which may be in the possession of the Governments. The Contracting Governments undertake to impose on the companies the obligation to give public notice of the regular routes which they propose their vessels should follow, and of any changes made in these routes; they will also use their influence to induce the owners of all vessels crossing the Atlantic to follow, so far as circumstances will permit, the recognised routes, and to induce the owners of all vessels crossing the Atlantic bound to or from ports of the United States via the vicinity of the Great Bank of Newfoundland to avoid, as far as practicable, the fishing banks of Newfoundland north of latitude 43° N. during the fishing season, and to pass outside regions known or believed to be endangered by ice. The Administration managing the ice patrol service is requested to report to the Administration concerned any ship which is observed not to be on any regular, recognised or advertised route, or which crosses the above-mentioned fishing banks during the fishing season, or which, when proceeding to or from ports of the United States, passes through regions known or believed to be endangered by ice. Article 40

Collision Regulations

The Contracting Governments agree that the alterations in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea shown in Annex II are desirable and ought to be made. The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is requested to forward full particulars of the alterations to the other Governments who have accepted the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, and ascertain whether they will adopt these alterations; to report the results to the Governments represented at this Conference, and to endeavour to arrange that the revised regulations shall come in force on the 1st July, 1931. Article 41

Helm Orders

The Contracting Governments agree that after midnight on the 30th June, 1931, helm or steering orders, i.e., orders to the steersman, shall on all their ships be given in the direct sense, e.g., when the ship is going ahead an order containing the word " starboard " or " right " or any equivalent of " starboard " or " right" shall only be used when it is intended, on ships as at present generally constructed and arranged, that the wheel, the rudder-blade and the head of the ship, shall all move to the right. Article 42

Misuse of Distress Signals

The use of an international distress signal, except for the purpose of indicating that a vessel is in distress, and the use of any signal which may be confused with an international distress signal, are prohibited on every ship. Article 43

Alarm, Distress and Urgency Signals

The alarm signal and the distress signal may only be used by ships in serious and imminent danger which require immediate assistance. In all other cases in which assistance is required, or in which a vessel desires to issue a warning that it may become necessary to send out the alarm signal or the distress signal at a later stage, use must be made of the urgency signal (XXX) established by the International Radiotelegraph Convention, Washington, 1927. If a ship has sent out the alarm or distress signal and subsequently finds that assistance is no longer required such ship shall immediately notify all stations concerned as provided for by the Radiotelegraph Convention in force. Article 44

Speed of Distress Messages

The speed of transmission of messages in connection with cases of distress, urgency or safety, shall not exceed 16 words per minute. Article 45

Distress Messages. Procedure

1. The master of a ship on receiving on his ship a wireless distress signal from any other ship, is bound to proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress, 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 under the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article. 2. The master of a ship in distress, after consultation, so far as may be possible, with the masters of the ships which answer his call for assistance, has the right to requisition such one or more of those ships as he considers best able to render assistance, and it shall be the duty of the master or masters of the ship or ships requisitioned to comply with the requisition by continuing to proceed with all speed to the assistance of the persons in distress. 3. A master shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph 1 of this Article as soon as he is informed by the master of the ship requisitioned, or, where more ships than one are requisitioned, all the masters of the ships requisitioned, that he or they are complying with the requisition. 4. A master shall be released from the obligation imposed by paragraph 1 of this Article, and, if his ship has been requisitioned, from the obligation imposed by paragraph 2 of this Article, if he is informed by a ship which has reached the persons in distress that assistance is no longer necessary. 5. If a master of a ship, on receiving a wireless distress call from another ship, is unable, or in the special circumstances of the case considers it unreasonable or unnecessary to go to the assistance of that other ship, he must immediately inform the master of that other ship accordingly, and enter in hi3 log-book his reasons for failing to proceed to the assistance of the persons in distress. 6. The provisions of this Article do not prejudice the International Convention for the unification of certain rules with respect to Assistance and Salvage at Sea, signed at Brussels on the 23rd September, 1910, particularly the obligation to render assistance imposed by Article 11 of that Convention. Article 46

Signalling Lamp

All ships of over 150 tons gross tonnage, when engaged on international voyages, shall have on board an efficient signalling lamp. Article 47

Direction-finding Apparatus

Every passenger ship of 5,000 tons gross tonnage and upwards shall, within two years from the date on which the present Convention comes in force, be provided with an approved direction-finding apparatus (radio compass), complying with the provisions of Article 31 (17) of the present Convention. Article 48

Manning

The Contracting Governments undertake, each for its national ships, to maintain, or, if it is necessary, to adopt, measures for the purpose of ensuring that, from the point of view of safety of life at sea, all ships shall be sufficiently and efficiently manned.

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