Merchant Shipping (Safety and Load Line Conventions) Act, 1933

Provisions as to signals.

25.—(1) The Minister may by order prescribe what signals shall be signals of distress and urgency, and the signals so prescribed shall be deemed to be signals of distress and urgency respectively.

(2) Rules may be made by the Minister prescribing the circumstances in and the purposes for which any signal prescribed by order under the last foregoing sub-section is to be used, the circumstances in which it is to be revoked and the speed at which any message sent by wireless telegraphy in connection with the signal is to be transmitted, and those rules shall make such provision as appears to the Minister to be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to Articles forty-two and forty-three of the Safety Convention and to Article forty-four thereof so far as it relates to signals of distress and urgency.

(3) If the master of a ship uses or displays or causes or permits any person under his authority to use or display—

(a) any signal prescribed by order under this section except in the circumstances and for the purposes prescribed by the rules made under this section; or

(b) any private signal, whether registered or not, which is liable to be mistaken for any signal so prescribed by order;

he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds and shall further be liable to pay compensation for any labour undertaken, risk incurred or loss sustained in consequence of the signal having been supposed to be a signal of distress or urgency, and that compensation may, without prejudice to any other remedy, be recovered in the same manner in which salvage is recoverable.

(4) Section four hundred and thirty-four of the Principal Act shall cease to have effect, but nothing in this Part of this Act shall affect any rules made under that section which are in force at the commencement of this Part of this Act, and any such rules shall, until revoked, have effect as if they had been made under the foregoing provisions of this section.

(5) In addition to the private signals which the Minister may refuse to register under section seven hundred and thirty-three of the Principal Act, the Minister may refuse to register any private signal which in his opinion cannot easily be distinguished from signals of urgency or signals prescribed for indicating that a message is about to be sent relating to a danger to navigation, and the Minister may revoke the registration of any such signal registered under the said section of the Principal Act, if in his opinion it cannot easily be so distinguished.