46 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2009 Edition
Title 46 - SHIPPING
Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
Part A - General Provisions
Sec. 2304 - Duty to provide assistance at sea
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

§2304. Duty to provide assistance at sea

(a)(1) A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master's or individual's vessel or individuals on board.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a vessel of war or a vessel owned by the United States Government appropriated only to a public service.

(b) A master or individual violating this section shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 509; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(8), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1703.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
2304 46:728

Section 2304 requires a master or individual in charge of a vessel to render assistance to those in danger at sea if able to do so without seriously endangering the vessel or crew.


2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–304 designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).