Maritime Safety Act 2005

Seizure of unseaworthy vessels.

21.—(1) Where—

(a) a member of the Garda Síochána or an authorised person has reasonable grounds for believing that a vessel, or

(b) an authorised person appointed under Part 2 by an authority (within the meaning of Part 2 ) has reasonable grounds for believing that a personal watercraft or recreational craft (within the meaning of Part 2 ),

is unseaworthy and is going out or has gone out to sea or into waters and he or she considers that the vessel is liable to founder or be in such a defective condition as to be unsafe for persons on board or other users of Irish waters, he or she may order the vessel to go to a port or harbour or a place of refuge or seize (using reasonable force, if necessary) and detain the vessel in the interest of safety of persons, until—

(i) such time as the vessel—

(I) if it is a pleasure craft, is made to his or her satisfaction seaworthy, or

(II) if it is a vessel other than a pleasure craft or being a pleasure craft and he or she considers it necessary, is made seaworthy to the satisfaction of a surveyor of ships (within the meaning of section 724 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 ) by a certificate issued in that behalf by the surveyor and produced to him or her,

(ii) arrangements (including arrangements for the repair, disposal, salvage or berthing) have been made by the person in command or in charge or the owner of the vessel which the member or authorised person is satisfied with, or

(iii) the conclusion of any proceedings in respect of the vessel brought under this Act.

(2) Where a vessel has been detained under subsection (1), a reasonable charge may be made for her to be released to cover any reasonable expenses involved in the seizure and detention and any survey of the vessel.

(3) Where a vessel is detained under subsection (1) and the vessel is not made seaworthy, within a reasonable stated period, to the satisfaction of a member of the Garda Síochána or an authorised person (within the meaning of subsection (1)) the member or person may give notice in writing, stating that after the expiration of 5 days, or such further period as is specified in the notice, it is intended to dispose of the vessel, unless representations are made within that time to him or her by the owner or his or her representative of the vessel.

(4) Where the member or an authorised person having considered any representations under subsection (3) decides to dispose of the vessel he or she shall give notice in writing to the owner of the decision.

(5) The owner of a vessel detained under subsection (1) or to whom a notice to dispose of the vessel has been given under subsection (4) may within 7 days of the detention or being given the notice, appeal to the District Court within whose District Court area is the port, harbour or place where the vessel was detained or first brought after its detention, against the detention or notice.

(6) Where no appeal has been made within the period of 7 days against a notice under subsection (4), the notice has effect upon the expiration of the period.

(7) In hearing an appeal under subsection (5) the court may confirm the detention or allow the disposal or order the release of the vessel (with or without conditions).

(8) Any proceeds of the disposal of a vessel under this section remaining after the deduction of any reasonable expenses and court costs, shall be paid to the owner of the vessel.