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Failure To Report

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law  > Marine Safety Offences > Failure To Report

What the law says

Section 125 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act Queensland states:

  1. If a marine incident causing or involving the loss or presumed loss or abandonment of a ship happens, the owner of the ship must report the marine incident to a shipping inspector at the earliest opportunity, but within 48 hours after the owner becomes aware of the incident, unless the owner has a reasonable excuse for not complying with this subsection.
  2. If-
    • (a) a ship is involved in another type of marine incident; or
    • (b) a ship’s master has reason to believe that the ship has been involved in another type of marine incident;
      the master of the ship must report the marine incident to a shipping inspector within 48 hours after the incident happens, unless the master has a reasonable excuse for not complying with this subsection.
  3. If the report under subsection (1) or (2) is not made to the shipping inspector in the approved form, the owner or master must make a further report about the marine incident to a shipping inspector in the approved form at the earliest opportunity.
  4. It is a reasonable excuse if the owner under subsection (1), or the master under subsection (2), did not have access to a way of reporting the marine incident within the time stated in the relevant subsection.

Section 123 of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act Queensland defines a marine incident as follows:

  1. marine incident is an event causing or involving-
    • (a) the loss of a person from a ship; or
    • (b) the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, a person caused by a ship’s operations; or
    • (c) the loss or presumed loss or abandonment of a ship; or
    • (d) a collision with a ship; or
    • (e) the stranding of a ship; or
    • (f) material damage to a ship; or
    • (g) material damage caused by a ship’s operations; or
    • (h) danger to a person caused by a ship’s operations; or
    • (i) danger of serious damage to a ship; or
    • (j) danger of serious damage to a structure caused by a ship’s operations.

Here is the official required Marine Incident Report Form for QLD.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

The accused:

  1. Was the owner of a ship in a marine incident that caused or involved the loss or abandonment of a ship; AND
  2. Failed to report that marine incident to a shipping inspector as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours after the incident.

OR

  1. Was the master of a ship in some other type of marine incident;AND
  2. Failed to report that marine incident to a shipping inspector within 48 hours after the incident.

OR

  1. Made a report to the shipping inspector under sections 125(1) or (2) of the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act that was not in the approved form; AND
  2. Did not make a further report in the approved form at the earliest opportunity.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

Maximum penalty-

  • (a) for contravention of paragraph (1) – 40 penalty units
  • (b) for contravention of paragraph (2) – 40 penalty units.
  • (c) for contravention of paragraph (3) – 40 penalty units.

Penalty unit = $100.00

Which court will hear the matter

Under section 3(5) of the Criminal Code Act  Queensland this offence is classed a simple offence and therefore may be heard in the Magistrates Court pursuant to section 19 of the Justices Act Queensland.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to:

  1. The accused was not a master or owner of a ship.
  2. The accused was not the owner of a ship in a marine incident involved the loss or abandonment of a ship.
  3. The accused, as the owner of the ship, made a report to the shipping master in the approved form as soon as possible and within 48 hours of the incident.
  4. The accused, as the owner of the ship who had previously made a report in the unapproved form, made a further report in the approved form at the earliest opportunity.
  5. The accused was not a master of a ship in a marine incident.
  6. The accused as the master of the ship, had no reason to believe the ship had been involved in a marine incident.
  7. The accused, as the master of the ship, made a report to the shipping master in the approved form within 48 hours of the incident.
  8. The accused, as the master of the ship who had previously made a report in the unapproved form, made a further report in the approved form at the earliest opportunity.
  9. Reasonable Excuse – examples:
    • (a) The owner did not have access to a way of reporting the incident within 48 hours.
    • (b) The master did not have access to a way of reporting the incident within 48 hours.
  10. Duress – example: there was a threat of harm against the accused or another person that the accused reasonably believe would be carried out if he/she did do the act/s that constituted the offence.
  11. Necessity – example: The accused was injured and required to remain hospitalised for medical attention and thereby was unable to make the report.
  12. Insanity.
  13. Identification i.e. the accused was not the offender.
  14. Mistake of fact – example: The accused had an honest and reasonable, but mistaken belief that the ship had not been involved in a marine incident.
  15. Other Lawful Excuse – example: The accused was physically or mentally unable to make a report within the required time.

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