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​Fines – criminal investigations

Fines – criminal investigations

When a fine is imposed or threatened to be imposed, the cover provided by the P&I insurance may be involved. The Company, the P&I insurers or their local correspondent should therefore be contacted.

3.7.1 General

If fines are imposed upon the vessel or a person on board the vessel, action should be taken and evidence collected to protect the interests of those involved, provided their personal safety is not endangered.

3.7.2 criminal investigations

If the Master is investigated by the authorities for criminal misconduct, he/she, or any other person involved, may have the right to remain silent and the right to seek advice from a lawyer before responding to any questions from authorities.

The Master should not direct the crew to lie, destroy, tamper with or hide evidence.

If the Master does so, he/she may be charged with obstruction of justice. If the Master or any other person involved on board is uncertain of their rights and responsibilities in a criminal investigation, advice should be obtained from the local correspondents or a local law office.

3.7.3 Action to be taken

If a demand for payment of a fine or a request for a guarantee is made

  • the Master should notify the Company and the local correspondents seeking their assistance
  • if the fine is not supported by official documents from a relevant authority or court, the demand should be politely but firmly rejected.

No admission of liability should be made without consulting the company, the P&I insurer, the correspondents or lawyers instructed on behalf of the Company and the crew member involved.

3.7.4 evidence to be collected
  • Date and time of the alleged incident
  • position/location of the vessel at the time of the alleged incident
  • names of individuals alleged to be involved and statements taken from them, preferably in the absence of any officials
  • names of eye witnesses to the alleged incident and statements taken from them
  • circumstances of the alleged incident.
3.7.5 documents to be retained
  • Deck logbook
  • bridge bell book
  • engine logbook
  • engine bell book
  • oil record book
  • chart used (paper or electronic) – do not tamper with or erase any marks/data.

Disclosure of the vessel’s documents, statements or reports should not be made without the prior authority of the Company, the P&I insurer, correspondent or lawyer instructed on behalf of the Company.

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