Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act 1949

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1949 c. 43


Merchant Shipping (Safety Convention) Act , 1949

(12, 13 & 14 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 43

An Act to enable effect to be given to an International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, signed in London on the tenth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty-eight; to amend the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1948, relating to the construction of passenger steamers, to life-saving appliances, wireless and radio navigational aids and to other matters affected by the said Convention, and to amend the provisions of those Acts relating to fees.

[14th July 1949]

Whereas a Convention (in this Act referred to as ‘the Safety Convention’) was signed on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom in London on the tenth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty-eight, for promoting safety of life at sea by establishing in common agreement uniform principles and rules directed thereto:

And whereas it is intended that the Safety Convention shall replace the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1929, which is set out in the First Schedule to the Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act, 1932:

And whereas it is expedient to enable effect to be given to the Safety Convention, and to amend the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1948, relating to the construction of passenger steamers, to life-saving appliances, wireless and radio navigational aids and to other matters affected by the Safety Convention, and to amend the provisions of those Acts relating to fees:

Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Construction and Equipment

Construction and Equipment

S-1 Construction rules.

1 Construction rules.

(1) The Minister may make rules (in this Act called ‘construction rules’) prescribing the requirements that the hull, equipments and machinery of British passenger steamers registered in the United Kingdom shall comply with; and the rules shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to implement the provisions of the Safety Convention prescribing the requirements that the hull, equipments and machinery of passenger steamers shall comply with, except so far as those provisions are implemented by the rules for life-saving appliances, the radio rules, the rules for direction-finders or the collision regulations.

(2) The powers conferred on the Minister by this section shall be in addition to the powers conferred by any other enactment enabling him to prescribe the requirements that passenger steamers shall comply with.

S-2 Rules for life-saving appliances.

2 Rules for life-saving appliances.

(1) For section four hundred and twenty-seven of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 (in this Act referred to as ‘the principal Act’), there shall be substituted the following section:—

S-427

427.

(1) The Minister of Transport may, in relation to any ships to which this section applies, make rules (in this Act called ‘rules for life-saving appliances’) with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a ) the arranging of ships into classes, having regard to the services in which they are employed to the nature and duration of the voyage, and to the number of persons carried;

(b ) the number, description, and mode of construction of the boats, life rafts, line-throwing appliances, life-jackets, and lifebuoys to be carried by ships, according to the classes in which the ships are arranged;

(c ) the equipment to be carried by any such boats and rafts and the methods to be provided to get the boats and other life-saving appliances into the water, including oil for use in stormy weather;

(d ) the provision in ships of a proper supply of lights inextinguishable in water, and fitted for attachment to lifebuoys;

(e ) the quantity, quality and description of buoyant apparatus to be carried on board ships carrying passengers, either in addition to or in substitution for boats, life rafts, life-jackets and lifebuoys;

(f ) the position and means of securing the boats, life rafts, life-jackets, lifebuoys and buoyant apparatus;

(g ) the marking of the boats, life rafts and buoyant apparatus so as to show their dimensions and the number of persons authorised to be carried on them;

(h ) the manning of the lifeboats and the qualifications and certificates of lifeboat men;

(j ) the provision to be made for mustering the persons on board, and for embarking them in the boats (including provision for the lighting of, and the means of ingress to and egress from, different parts of the ship);

(k ) the provision of suitable means situated outside the engine-room whereby any discharge of water into the boats can be prevented;

(l ) the assignment of specific duties to each member of the crew in the event of emergency;

(m ) the methods to be adopted and the appliances to be carried in ships for the prevention, detection and extinction of fire;

(n ) the practice in ships of boat-drills and fire-drills;

(o ) the provision in ships of means of making effective distress-signals by day and by night;

(p ) the provision, in ships engaged on voyages in which pilots are likely to be embarked, of suitable pilot-ladders, and of ropes, lights and other appliances designed to make the use of such ladders safe, and

(q ) the examination at intervals to be prescribed by the rules of any appliances or equipment required by the rules to be carried.

(2) This section applies to—

(a ) British ships, except ships registered in a Dominion within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, or in India, Pakistan or Ceylon, or in any territory administered by His Majesty's government in any such Dominion;

(b ) other ships while they are within any port in the United Kingdom:

Provided that this section shall not apply to a ship by reason of her being within a port in the United Kingdom if she would not have been in any such port but for stress of weather or any other circumstance that neither the master nor the owner nor the charterer (if any) of the ship could have prevented or forestalled’.

(2) The rules for life-saving appliances shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to implement the provisions of the Safety Convention relating to the matters mentioned in the said section four hundred and twenty-seven.

(3) For subsection (1) of section nine of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1906, there shall be substituted the following subsection:—

(1) The master of every ship to which section four hundred and twenty-seven of the principal Act applies as being a British ship shall cause to be entered in the official log-book a statement, or if there is no official log-book cause other record to be kept, of every occasion on which boat-drill or fire-drill is practised on board the ship or on which the appliances and equipment required by the rules for life-saving appliances to be carried are examined to see whether they are fit and ready for use and of the result of any such examination; and if—

(a ) in the case of a passenger steamer, boat-drill or fire-drill is not practised on board the ship in any week;

(b ) in the case of any other ship, boat-drill or fire-drill is not practised on board the ship in any month;

(c ) in the case of any ship, the said appliances and equipment are not examined in any such period as is prescribed by the said rules,

the master shall cause a statement to be entered or other record to be kept as aforesaid of the reasons why the drill was not practised or the appliances and equipment were not examined in that week, month or period’.

S-3 Radio rules.

3 Radio rules.

(1) The Minister may make rules (in this Act called ‘radio rules’) requiring ships to which this section applies to be provided with a radio installation other than a radio navigational aid of such a nature as may be prescribed by the rules and to maintain such a radio service and to carry such number of radio officers or operators, of such grades and possessing such qualifications, as may be so prescribed; and the rules may contain provisions for preventing so far as practicable electrical interference with the radio installation by other apparatus on board.

(2) This section applies to—

(a ) sea-going British ships registered in the United Kingdom;

(b ) other sea-going ships while they are within any port in the United Kingdom.

(3) The said rules shall include such requirements as appear to the Minister to implement the provisions of the Safety Convention relating to radiotelegraphy and radiotelephony.

(4) The radio installation required under the said rules to be provided for a passenger steamer, or for any other ship of sixteen hundred tons gross tonnage or upwards, shall be a radiotelegraph installation; and that required to be provided for a ship of less than sixteen hundred tons gross tonnage, other than a passenger steamer, shall be either a radiotelephone installation or a radiotelegraph installation, at the option of the owner.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of the preceding provisions of this section, rules under this section may—

(a ) prescribe the duties of radio officers and operators, including the duty of keeping a radio log-book;

(b ) apply to any radio log-book required to be kept under the rules any of the provisions of section two hundred and forty-two of the principal Act (which provides for the delivery of the official log-book to the superintendent) and of section two hundred and fifty-six of that Act (which provides among other things for the...

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