01 May 2014
A ship captain who abandons his sinking vessel without ensuring the safety of the passengers onboard is committing a crime, according to Singapore law.
Anyone found guilty of the offence under the Merchant Shipping Act can be fined and even jailed.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore told The New Paper that in an emergency at sea, the ship’s master has a “statutory duty to ensure orderly evacuation and an equitable distribution of the passengers and crew on the lifeboats and other life-saving appliances”.
Its spokesman said it was a “serious dereliction of his statutory duty” if the master abandons the ship without due regard for passengers’ safety.
… Dr Sam Bateman, an adviser to the Maritime Security Programme at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told TNP that there’s nothing to stop a captain saving his or her own life once there’s nothing further to be done to save other lives.
But he added: “The captain’s duty is to ensure the safety of the life of the passengers and the crew.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
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