Merchant Shipping (Investigation of Marine Casualties) Act, 2000

Power of investigators.

29.—(1) Where possession of an object is taken by an investigator under section 27 (3), the investigator—

(a) may, subject to paragraph (b), cause such tests, including tests to destruction, to be conducted on the object as necessary for the purposes of the investigation,

(b) shall to the extent that is practical and safe to do so and does not unreasonably impede the progress of the investigation—

(i) take all reasonable measures to invite the owner of the object, and any person who appears on reasonable grounds to be entitled to possession of the object, to be present at any tests referred to in paragraph (a), and

(ii) allow persons referred to in subparagraph (i) to be present at those tests,


(c) subject to the need to conduct such tests, shall cause the object to be preserved pending its return to that owner or person, or to the person from whom possession was taken, as soon as possible after it has served the purpose for which possession of the object was taken.

(2) An investigator may take any measurements or photographs, or make any tape, electrical or other recordings, he or she considers necessary for the purposes of an investigation, examination or inquiry made by him or her under this Act.

(3) An investigator shall have unhampered access to any vessel wreckage and the place where it is located, and unrestricted control over it, to ensure that a detailed examination can be made without delay by persons who under this Act are entitled to participate in any investigation in connection with the wreckage or marine casualty from which it resulted.

(4) An investigator may give to any person in or in the vicinity of a vessel or the wreckage of a vessel involved in a marine casualty, or any site or object the investigator considers, on reasonable grounds, might be relevant to the investigating of the marine casualty, such directions to prevent or regulate the access of the person to the vessel, wreckage, site or object, and for such period, as the investigator considers necessary to enable a proper investigation of the marine casualty or such inquiry to be carried out under this Act.

(5) A direction under subsection (4) may be given orally or in writing, or generally to all persons by a written notice affixed on or in such a way in the vicinity of the vessel, wreckage, site or object so as to be clearly visible to the public or persons to whom it is directed, or by any other means the investigator considers necessary to inform the public generally.