254Return of births and deaths in British ships
(1)The master of every British ship, whether registered or not in the United Kingdom, shall, as soon as may be after the occurrence of the birth of a child or the death of a person happening on board his ship, record in his log-book or otherwise the fact of the birth or death, and the particulars required by the Eighth Schedule to this Act to be registered concerning the birth or death, or such of them as may be known to him.
(2)The master of every British ship, upon its arrival at any port in the United Kingdom, or at such other time and place as the Board of Trade may with respect to any ship or class of ships direct, shall deliver or transmit, in such form as the Board of Trade direct, a return of the facts recorded by him in respect to the birth of a child or the death of a person on board such ship, to the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen.
(3)Where the said return is directed by the Board of Trade to be delivered or transmitted upon the arrival of the ship or the discharge of the crew or otherwise at any port out of the United Kingdom, the Board of Trade may, if they think fit, direct that the return, instead of being delivered or transmitted to the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen, shall be delivered, and the same shall accordingly be delivered, if the port is in a British possession, to the superintendent or chief officer of customs at such port, and if it is elsewhere, to the British consular officer at the port, and such superintendent or officer shall transmit the same as soon as may be to the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen.
(4)The Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen shall send a certified copy of the returns relating to such births and deaths as follows ; (that is to say,)
(a)if it appears from the return that the father of the child so born, or if the child is a bastard the mother of the child, or that the person deceased was a Scotch or Irish subject of Her Majesty, then to the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths in Scotland or Ireland, as the case may require; and
(b)in any other case to the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths in England;
and such Registrar-General of Births and Deaths shall cause the same to be filed and preserved in or copied in a book to be kept by him for the purpose, and to be called the marine register book; and such book shall be a certified copy of the register book within the meaning of the Acts relating to the registration of births and deaths in England, Scotland, and Ireland respectively.
(5)If the master of any ship fails to comply with any requirement of this section, he shall be liable for each offence to a fine not exceeding five pounds.