Abstract of an Act for the Regulation of Steam Navigation and for requiring Sea-going Vessels to carry Boats.
The 1st clause enacts, that the Governor shall have power to appoint a board of five persons for the inspection and regulation of sea-going steam and other vessels carrying passengers, in and from the said colony, the said board to have full power to carry out the provisions of this Act.
The 2nd clause enacts, that all iron steamers hereafter built in the colony, of 100 tons and upwards, shall be divided by transverse water-tight partitions, separating the fore and after parts of the vessel from the engine room.
The 3rd clause enacts, that from and after the 1st January, 1848, that no vessel, the tonnage of which shall be 100 tons or upwards, shall proceed to sea from any port in the colony unless provided with boats with all requisites for their use on the following scale:
100 to 200 tons,
1 boat 16 feet long, 5 feet 6 inches wide, and
a punt or small boat ;
200 to 350 tons,
1 long boat 18 feet long by 6 feet wide,
1 boat 14 feet long by 5 feet wide ;
350 to 650 tons,
1 long boat 20 feet long by 6 feet 6 inches wide,
1 boat 18 feet long by 5 feet 6 inches wide,
1 boat 14 feet long by 5 feet wide ;
650 tons to 850 tons,
1 long boat 24 feet long by 7 feet wide,
1 boat 22 feet long by 6 feet 6 inches wide,
1 boat 18 feet long by 5 feet 6 inches wide, and
1 boat 16 feet long by 5 feet 6 inches wide ;
850 tons and upwards,
1 long boat 26 feet long by 8 feet wide,
1 boat 24 feet by 7 feet,
1 boat 22 feet by 6 feet 6 inches, and
1 boat 16 feet by 5 feet 6 inches ;
provided the said limits of dimensions do not apply to vessels engaged in the whale fisher, and that no vessel carrying more than ten passengers shall proceed to sea on any voyage unless it be provided in addition to the boats before required with a life-boat, and two life buoys.
Clause 4 enacts, that all steamers, the building of which in this colony shall be commence after the passing of this Act, shall in lieu of life-boats, be fitted with paddle-box boats, or such other boats as the board may direct.
Clause 6 enacts, that no steam vessel of 100 tons and upwards shall proceed to sea without a hose for the purpose of extinguishing fire, capable of being connected with the engines of the vessel.
Clause 6 enacts, that the tonnage of vessels shall be ascertained by the rules of admeasurement prescribed by Act of Parliament, regulating for the time being the admeasurement of the merchant ships of the United Kingdom.
Clause 7 enacts, that for every breach of the aforesaid regulations, or for wilfully injuring any such boats, or neglecting to repair the same, the owner if in fault shall pay a fine not exceeding £100, and if the master or person in charge of the vessel be in fault he shall pay a fine not exceeding £50.
Clause 8 enacts, that it shall not be lawful for any officer of Customs to clear out any vessel, until the regulations hereinbefore provided be complied with.
Clause 9 enacts, that every steam-vessel passing another shall pass as far as may be safe on the port side of her, and every steam-vessel navigating any river or narrow channel shall keep as far as is practicable to that side of the fairway or mid-channel which lies on the starboard side of such vessel, due regard being had to the tide and to the position of each vessel in such a tide, and for neglect of these regulations the master shall be subject to a fine not exceeding £50.
Clause 10 enacts, that the Board may from time to time alter or revoke any of the regulations, and make new ones, provided they be not inconsistent with the Act ; and before coming into force shall be subject to the approval of His Excellency the Governor.
Clause 11 enacts, that all regulations shall be published in four successive Government Gazettes and shall be deemed to be in force after the expiration of one month from the date of the first of such publication, until they be revoked or altered, and until the expiration of one month after such alteration or revocation) shall have been published in like manner.
Clause 12 enacts, that the master of any steam-vessel, on any river or narrow channel in New South Wales, or the adjacent islands, being, within the said colony, or on the sea, within twenty miles of the coast of any part of such colony, shall, whether under weigh or at anchor, exhibit such light between sunset and sunrise, as the regulations framed by the Board shall require, and in default thereof shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £20 ; and the owner of any steam-vessel on board which such light shall not be exhibited, shall not be entitled to recover damages for any injury sustained by his vessel, from any other vessel running foul thereof during the night.
Clause 13 enacts, that if any damage to person or property arise from the non-observance of the regulations respecting lights, and passing the same, shall in all Courts of Justice be taken, in the absence of proof to the contrary, to have arisen from the wilful default of the master or person in charge, who shall be subject to all proceedings, whether civil or criminal, to the legal consequence of such wilful default.
Clause 14 enacts, that on or before the 30th April and 31st of October, in each year, the owners of every steam vessel shall transmit to the Board a declaration of and good condition of the hull of the vessel, under the hand of a shipwright surveyor, approved of by the Board ; and also a declaration of the sufficiency of the machinery, under the hand of an engineer, such declaration bearing the date of some day in April or October respectively such declarations to be registered by the Board, a certificate of such that registry given to the owners ; provided that on the owners certifying that any such steam vessel was in foreign parts during the whole of such months of April or October, a declaration signed not more than seven days before she left the port, shall entitle the owners to a certificate of registry. Provided always, that this enactment shall not apply to any steam vessel whilst employed in the Royal mail service, or the conveyance of the Royal public mails or despatches under contract with, and under the superintendence of, the Lord High Admiral, or Commissioners for executing the office of the Lord High Admiral.
The 15th clause enacts, that in cases where it shall be impossible to make such declarations in April or October, by reason of such vessels being under repair during these months, upon certificate to that effect, to the satisfaction of the board, the owners shall be entitled to certificates of registry, notwithstanding the declaration bear date for months other than those of April and October.
Clause 16 enacts, that after the 30th June, 1848, it shall not be lawful for any steam vessel to proceed to sea, unless such declarations shall have been duly transmitted to the board, or any officer of customs, to clear such steam vessel, unless upon the production of the certificate of the registry of these declarations.
Clause 17 enacts, that the owner of any steam vessel proceeding to sea without having received from the board the certificate registry of such declaration, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £100.
Clause 18 enacts, that any person in any way forging or altering a certificate or declaration, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Clause 19 enacts, that any steam-vessel sustaining or causing any serious accident occasioning loss of life or property, or has received any material damage affecting her sea-worthiness, either in her hull or engine, by grounding, or collision, &c., the master or person in charge shall immediately transmit through the Post Office a report of such accident or damage, and the probable occasion thereof with all particulars relating to such vessel, in order that the Board may, if they think fit, investigate the matter ; and if the owners of any steam-vessel from her non-appearance or otherwise have reason to apprehend that she is wholly lost, they shall send notice of such apprehensions to the Board, and any owner or master failing to do so shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding £50,
Clause 20 provides, that at the request of the Board the Government may appoint an inspector or inspectors to enquire into the nature and cause of such accident.
Clause 21 enacts, that such inspectors shall have power to make enquiry, and to require and enforce the attendance of all parties concerned, and to examine on oath and to enforce the production of all log-books, papers, and agreements, connected with such vessel.
Clause 22 enacts, that all persons obstructing such inspectors in the execution of their duty should be subject to a fine not exceeding £5.
Clause 23 enacts, that every penalty imposed by the Act may be recovered by summary proceeding before two. justices of the peace.
Clause 24 enacts, that any offence against this Act committed on the high seas, shall for the purposes of prosecution, be taken to have been committed at the place on land, to which the person committing such offence shall be brought, and whenever any such offence shall have been committed on the water, not being within the colony, the same shall be taken to be an offence on the high seas, and it shall be lawful for any Justice of the Peace on information exhibited, to issue a summons.
Clause 25 enacts, that on non-payment of the penalty and costs, the Justices shall issue distress warrants.
Clause 26 enacts, that where a sufficient distress cannot be made, the offender shall be committed to gaol for any period not exceeding three months.
The 27th clause enacts, that distress should be made on the goods and chattels of the offender.
Clause 28 enacts, that no distress be unlawful for want of form.
Clause 29 enacts, that all penalties and forfeitures under the Act shall be applied, one-half to the person who shall sue for the same, and one-half to the Treasurer of the colony.
Clause 30 enacts, that no indictment shall be preferred under this Act, unless under the direction of the Board or the Collector of Customs ; and no suit or proceeding for the recovery of any penalty or forfeiture, unless in the name of her Majesty's Attorney-General for the said colony.
Clause 31 enacts, that all complaints under this Act shall be made within six months of the commission of the offence.
Clause 32 enacts, that all persons refusing to appear on summons to attend as witnesses, in any matter under this Act, their reasonable expenses having been tendered them, shall be liable to a penalty of £5.
Clause 33 enacts, that no warrant of commitment or conviction, shall be voided by want of form, or the latter be removed by certiorari or otherwise, into any of the superior courts.
Clause 34 enacts, that a defendant may appeal against a conviction to the nearest Court of Quarter Sessions within four months of the adjudication, and on giving ten days' notice in writing to the party appealed against, stating the nature and grounds of the appeal.
Clause 35 enacts, that the Court of Quarter Sessions may hear and determine appeals in a summary way, or adjourn them, and upon the hearing may mitigate any penalty or forfeiture, or confirm or quash any adjudication, and order any money paid by the appellant, or levied on his goods, to be returned to him, and order such further satisfaction to be made to him as they may judge reasonable.
Clause 36 enacts, that H.M. shins of war shall be exempted from this Act, and all vessels not having a colonial or British register.
Clause 37 declares, that nothing in this. Act shall be construed as repealing or altering any of the provisions of the Act of Parliament " regulating the Carriage of Passengers in Merchant Vessels."
SG & SGTL ; Vol 4 ; Page 285-7.
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