THE Legislative Assembly has unanimously passed the Shipping Amendment Bill 2002 to ensure that ship masters are held more responsible for the safety of inter-island ferry passengers.
The main purpose of the amendment is to ensure that owner of the ship and ship master are equally liable in such conditions.
THE proposed amendment to the Shipping Amendment Bill 2022 has held ship master more responsible for the safety of passengers at sea.
In the current 122 section of the Principal Act, ship master has the final decision on whether the ship should depart a port or not. Hence, the safety of all the passengers on board a ship rests with the master of the ship.
However, the existing clause does not differentiate the responsibility of the owner and the ship master when the ship departs a port. It does not clearly identify who is responsible for which function of the ship.
For that reason, the Legislative Assembly has approved the proposed amendments which made the owner of the ship and ship master equally liable in such conditions.
The amendment also increases the penalty of ship master to up to $50,000 or a jail sentence not exceeding five years. This is to be consistent with the penalties in the case of the ship owner.