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CITE

    46 USC Sec. 2302                                            01/08/2008

EXPCITE

    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part A - General Provisions
    CHAPTER 23 - OPERATION OF VESSELS GENERALLY

HEAD

    Sec. 2302. Penalties for negligent operations and interfering with
      safe operation

STATUTE

      (a) A person operating a vessel in a negligent manner or
    interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, so as to endanger
    the life, limb, or property of a person is liable to the United
    States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 in
    the case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any
    other vessel.
      (b) A person operating a vessel in a grossly negligent manner
    that endangers the life, limb, or property of a person commits a
    class A misdemeanor.
      (c) An individual who is under the influence of alcohol, or a
    dangerous drug in violation of a law of the United States when
    operating a vessel, as determined under standards prescribed by the
    Secretary by regulation -
        (1) is liable to the United States Government for a civil
      penalty of not more than $5,000; or
        (2) commits a class A misdemeanor.
      (d) For a penalty imposed under this section, the vessel also is
    liable in rem unless the vessel is -
        (1) owned by a State or a political subdivision of a State;
        (2) operated principally for governmental purposes; and
        (3) identified clearly as a vessel of that State or
      subdivision.
      (e)(1) A vessel may not transport Government-impelled cargoes if -
        (A) the vessel has been detained and determined to be
      substandard by the Secretary for violation of an international
      safety convention to which the United States is a party, and the
      Secretary has published notice of that detention and
      determination in an electronic form, including the name of the
      owner of the vessel; or
        (B) the operator of the vessel has on more than one occasion
      had a vessel detained and determined to be substandard by the
      Secretary for violation of an international safety convention to
      which the United States is a party, and the Secretary has
      published notice of that detention and determination in an
      electronic form, including the name of the owner of the vessel.
      (2) The prohibition in paragraph (1) expires for a vessel on the
    earlier of -
        (A) 1 year after the date of the publication in electronic form
      on which the prohibition is based; or
        (B) any date on which the owner or operator of the vessel
      prevails in an appeal of the violation of the relevant
      international convention on which the detention is based.
      (3) As used in this subsection, the term "Government-impelled
    cargo" means cargo for which a Federal agency contracts directly
    for shipping by water or for which (or the freight of which) a
    Federal agency provides financing, including financing by grant,
    loan, or loan guarantee, resulting in shipment of the cargo by
    water.

SOURCE

    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 508; Pub. L. 98-557, Sec.
    7(a), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862; Pub. L. 101-380, title IV,
    Secs. 4105(b)(2), 4302(a), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 513, 537; Pub.
    L. 102-587, title V, Sec. 5102, Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5071; Pub.
    L. 105-383, title III, Secs. 302(a), 304(c), title IV, Sec. 408(a),
    Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3417, 3419, 3430; Pub. L. 107-295, title
    III, Sec. 325, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2105.)

HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES --------------------------------------------------------------------

              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    2302(a)                               46:1461(d)
                                          46:1484(b)
    2302(b)                               46:1461(d)
                                          46:1483
    2302(c)                               46:1484(b)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
      Section 2302 states that the negligent operation of a vessel is
    prohibited. These acts are subject to civil and criminal penalties
    and the involved vessel is subject to an in rem action. The
    negligent operation provisions have their genesis in the Act of
    April 25, 1940, 54 Stat. 167, when Congress prescribed that no
    person shall operate any motorboat or any vessel in a reckless or
    negligent manner. This provision was directed at all vessels and
    not those solely engaged in recreational boating. When the Federal
    Boat Safety Act of 1971, P.L. 92-75, 85 Stat. 217 (46 U.S.C. 1461)
    was enacted it adopted the reckless or negligent operation
    provisions of the 1940 Act. It adopted for the first time a
    provision for assessing civil penalties in addition to criminal
    penalties. It dropped the word "reckless" because of redundancy. It
    also combined the two classes of vessels; "any motorboat or any
    vessel" into one class by using the word "vessel" and defined
    vessel as including every description of watercraft.
                                AMENDMENTS
      2002 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107-295 substituted "$5,000 in the
    case of a recreational vessel, or $25,000 in the case of any other
    vessel" for "$1,000"
      1998 - Pub. L. 105-383, Sec. 302(a)(1), substituted "Penalties
    for negligent operations and interfering with safe operation" for
    "Penalties for negligent operations" in section catchline.
      Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105-383, Sec. 302(a)(2), substituted "or
    interfering with the safe operation of a vessel, so as to endanger"
    for "that endangers".
      Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 105-383, Sec. 304(c), substituted
    "$5,000; or" for "$1,000 for a first violation and not more than
    $5,000 for a subsequent violation; or".
      Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 105-383, Sec. 408(a), added subsec. (e).
      1992 - Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 102-587 substituted "$1,000 for a
    first violation and not more than $5,000 for a subsequent
    violation" for "$1,000".
      1990 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101-380, Sec. 4302(a)(1), substituted
    "commits a class A misdemeanor" for "shall be fined not more than
    $5,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both".
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101-380, Secs. 4105(b)(2), 4302(a)(2)(A),
    substituted "under the influence of alcohol, or a dangerous drug in
    violation of a law of the United States" for "intoxicated" and
    struck out ", shall be" after "by the Secretary by regulation".
      Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 101-380, Sec. 4302(a)(2)(B), substituted
    "is liable" for "liable".
      Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 101-380, Sec. 4302(a)(2)(C), amended par.
    (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "fined
    not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or
    both."
      1984 - Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 98-557 added subsec. (c) and
    redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1998 AMENDMENT
      Pub. L. 105-383, title IV, Sec. 408(b), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat.
    3431, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a)
    [amending this section] takes effect January 1, 1999."
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1990 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 101-380 applicable to incidents occurring
    after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 of Pub. L. 101-380, set out
    as an Effective Date note under section 2701 of Title 33,
    Navigation and Navigable Waters.
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