Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act, 1993

Power to pass over adjoining lands, etc.

9.—(1) Whenever a vessel is in distress, any person may, for the purpose of rendering assistance to the vessel, saving the lives of the shipwrecked persons or saving the cargo or apparel of the vessel, pass and repass, either with or without vehicles, over any adjoining lands, unless there is some public road equally convenient, without being subject to interruption by the owner or occupier, so that as little damage as possible is done, and may also, on the like condition, deposit on those lands any cargo or other article recovered from the vessel.

(2) Any damage sustained by an owner or occupier, as a consequence of the exercise of the rights given by this section, shall be a charge on the vessel, cargo or articles in respect of or by which damage is occasioned, and the amount payable in respect of the damage shall, in case of dispute, be determined and shall, in default of payment, be recoverable in the same manner as the amount of salvage is determined or recoverable.

(3) The owner or occupier of lands shall have no liability in respect of—

(a) personal injuries which may be sustained by persons passing or repassing over such lands pursuant to subsection (1), or

(b) damage sustained to the vessel in distress, its cargo or any other article recovered therefrom,

except where the owner or occupier, or persons duly acting as the servants or agents of the owner or occupier, are maliciously involved in such injuries or damage.

(4) Where the owner or occupier of any land—

(a) impedes or hinders any person in the exercise of any rights given by this section,

(b) impedes or hinders the deposit of any cargo or other article recovered from the vessel as aforesaid on the land, or

(c) prevents or endeavours to prevent any such cargo or other article from remaining deposited on the land for a reasonable time until it can be removed to a safe place of public deposit,

that owner or occupier shall be guilty of an offence.

(5) This section, in its application to harbours, is without prejudice to the powers of a harbour-master to give directions under any other provision of this Act or any other enactment.