WRECK AND SALVAGE
145. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires —
“receiver” means a receiver of wreck;
“salvage” includes all expenses properly incurred by the salvor in the performance of salvage services;
“wreck” includes jetsam, flotsam, lagan and derelict found in or on the shores of the sea or any tidal water.
146. The Authority shall have the general supervision throughout Singapore over all matters relating to wrecks and may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint any person to be a receiver of wreck and to perform the duties of a receiver under this Part.
—(1) Where any ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress at any place on or near the coasts of Singapore or any tidal water within the limits of Singapore, the receiver shall, upon being made acquainted with the circumstances, forthwith proceed there, and upon his arrival shall take the command of all persons present and shall assign such duties and give such directions to each person as he thinks fit for the preservation of the ship and of the lives of the persons belonging to the ship (referred to in this Part as shipwrecked persons) and of the cargo and apparel of the ship.
(2) Any person who wilfully disobeys any direction of the receiver shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, but the receiver shall not interfere between the master and the crew of the ship in reference to the management thereof unless he is requested to do so by the master.
—(1) The receiver may, with a view to the preservation under section 147 of shipwrecked persons or of the ship, cargo or apparel —
require such persons as he thinks necessary to assist him;
require the master or other person having the charge of any ship near at hand to give such aid with his men or ship as is in his power; and
demand the use of any vehicle that may be near at hand.
(2) Any person who refuses without reasonable cause to comply with any such requisition or demand shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
—(1) Whenever a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress as aforesaid, all persons may, for the purpose of rendering assistance to the ship, or of saving the lives of the shipwrecked persons, or of saving the cargo or apparel of the ship, unless there is some public road equally convenient, pass and repass, over any adjoining lands without being subject to interruption by the owner or occupier, so that they do as little damage as possible, and may also on the like condition, deposit on those lands any cargo or other article recovered from the ship.
(2) Any damage sustained by an owner or occupier in consequence of the exercise of the rights given by this section shall be a charge on the ship, cargo or articles, in respect of or by which the damage is occasioned, and the amount payable in respect of the damage shall, in case of dispute, be determined and shall, in default of payment, be recoverable in the same manner as the amount of salvage is under this Part determined or recoverable.
(3) Any owner or occupier of any land who —
impedes or hinders any person in the exercise of the rights given by this section by locking his gates, or refusing upon request to open the same, or otherwise;
impedes or hinders the deposit of any cargo or other article recovered from the ship as aforesaid on the land; or
prevents or endeavours to prevent any such cargo or other article from remaining deposited on the land for a reasonable time until the cargo or article can be removed to a safe place of public deposit,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
—(1) Whenever a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress as aforesaid, and any person plunders, creates disorder or obstructs the preservation of the ship or of the shipwrecked persons or of the cargo or apparel of the ship, the receiver may cause that person to be apprehended.
(2) The receiver may use force for the suppression of any such plundering, disorder or obstruction, and may command all persons to assist him in so using force.
—(1) Where a receiver is not present, the following officers or persons in succession, each in the absence of the other, in the order in which they are named, namely, superintendent or assistant superintendent of police, Magistrate, Justice of the Peace, or commissioned officer on full pay in the Singapore Armed Forces, may do anything by this Part authorised to be done by the receiver.
(2) An officer acting under this section for a receiver shall, with respect to any goods or articles belonging to a ship the delivery of which to the receiver is required by this Act, be considered as the agent of the receiver, and shall place the goods or articles in the custody of the receiver, but the officer shall not be entitled to any fees payable to receivers or be deprived by reason of his so acting of any right to salvage to which he would otherwise be entitled.
—(1) Where any ship is or has been in distress on the coasts of Singapore, a receiver of wreck or in his absence a Magistrate or a Justice of the Peace shall, as soon as conveniently may be, examine on oath any person belonging to the ship, or any other person who is able to give any account thereof or of the cargo or stores thereof, as to the following matters:
the name and description of the ship;
the names of the master and the owner;
the names of the owners of the cargo;
the ports from and to which the ship was bound;
the occasion of the distress of the ship;
the services rendered; and
such other matters or circumstances relating to the ship or to the cargo on board the ship as the person holding the examination thinks necessary.
(2) The person holding the examination shall take the examination down in writing, and shall send one copy thereof to the Authority, and another to the office of the Port Master, where the copy shall be placed in some conspicuous place for the inspection of persons desirous of examining it.
(3) The person holding the examination shall for the purposes thereof have all the powers of an inspector under this Act.
—(1) Where any person finds or takes possession of any wreck within the limits of Singapore or of any wreck found or taken possession of outside the limits of Singapore and brought within the limits of Singapore, he shall —
if he is the owner thereof, give notice to the receiver stating that he has found or taken possession of the wreck, and describing the marks by which the wreck may be recognised; or
if he is not the owner thereof, as soon as possible deliver the wreck to the receiver.
(2) Any person who fails without reasonable cause to comply with this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, and shall, in addition, if he is not the owner, forfeit any claim to salvage, and shall be liable to pay to the owner of the wreck if it is claimed, or if it is unclaimed to the person entitled to the wreck, double the value thereof, to be recovered in the same way as a fine of a like amount under this Act.
—(1) Where a ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress at any place on or near the coasts of Singapore, or any tidal water within the limits of Singapore, any cargo or other articles belonging to or separated from the ship which are washed on shore or otherwise lost or taken from the ship shall be delivered to the receiver.
(2) Any person, whether the owner or not, who secretes or keeps possession of any such cargo or article, or refuses to deliver the cargo or article to the receiver or any person authorised by the receiver to demand the cargo or article, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000.
(3) The receiver or any person authorised as aforesaid may take any such cargo or article by force from the person so refusing to deliver the cargo or article.
155. Where a receiver takes possession of any wreck, he shall within 48 hours cause to be posted at the office of the Port Master, and, if the receiver thinks it desirable, he shall send to the secretary of Lloyd’s in London, a description thereof and of any marks by which it is distinguished.
—(1) The owner of any wreck in the possession of the receiver, upon establishing his claim to the wreck to the satisfaction of the receiver within one month from the time at which the wreck came into the possession of the receiver, shall, upon paying the salvage fees and expenses due, be entitled to have the wreck or the proceeds thereof delivered up to him.
(2) Where any articles belonging to or forming part of a foreign ship which has been wrecked on or near the coasts of Singapore, or belonging to and forming part of the cargo, are found on or near those coasts or are brought into any port in Singapore, the consular officer of the country to which the ship or, in the case of cargo, to which the owners of the cargo may have belonged shall, in the absence of the owner and the master or other agent of the owner, be deemed to be the agent of the owner, so far as relates to the custody and disposal of the articles.
(3) Where any foreign ship is wrecked on or near the coasts of Singapore, the consular officer of the country to which the ship may have belonged shall, in the absence of the owner and the master or other agent of the owner, be deemed to be the agent of the owner, so far as relates to the custody and disposal of the wrecked ship.
[8/2005 wef 01/05/2005]
—(1) A receiver may at any time sell any wreck in his custody, if in his opinion —
it is under the value of $1,000;
it is so much damaged or of so perishable a nature that it cannot with advantage be kept; or
it is not of sufficient value to pay for warehousing.
(2) The proceeds of the sale shall, after defraying the expenses thereof, be held by the receiver for the same purposes and subject to the same claims, rights and liabilities as if the wreck had remained unsold.
158. The Government is entitled to all unclaimed wreck found in any part of Singapore except in places where the Government has granted to any person the right to the wreck.
—(1) Where no owner establishes a claim to any wreck found in Singapore or to any wreck found or taken possession of outside Singapore and brought within Singapore and in the possession of a receiver within one month after it came into his possession, the receiver shall sell the wreck, and shall pay the proceeds of the sale into the Consolidated Fund, after deducting therefrom the expenses of the sale and any other expenses incurred by him and his fees and paying there out to the salvors such amount of salvage as the Minister in each case or by any general rule determines.
(2) Nothing in this section shall alter the application of any droits of admiralty or droits of the Government.
160. Upon delivery of the wreck or payment of the proceeds of sale of the wreck by a receiver under this Part, the receiver shall be discharged from all liability in respect thereof, but the delivery thereof shall not prejudice or affect any question which is raised by third parties concerning the right or title to the wreck.
—(1) Where any ship is sunk, stranded or abandoned within the territorial waters of Singapore but outside the limits of any port in such a manner as, in the opinion of the receiver, to be or to be likely to become an obstruction or danger to navigation, the receiver may —
take possession of, and raise, remove or destroy the whole or any part of, the ship;
light or buoy any such ship or part until the raising, removal or destruction thereof; and
sell, in such manner as the receiver thinks fit, any ship or part so raised or removed, and also any other property recovered in the exercise of his powers under this section, and out of the proceeds of the sale reimburse himself for the expenses incurred by him in relation thereto under this section, and he shall hold the surplus, if any, of the proceeds in trust for the persons entitled thereto.
(2) A sale shall not, except in the case of any property which is of a perishable nature, or which would deteriorate in value by delay, be made under this section until at least 7 clear days’ notice of the intended sale has been given by advertisement in a newspaper circulating in Singapore.
(3) At any time before any property is sold under this section, the owner thereof shall be entitled to have the property delivered to him on payment to the receiver of the fair market value thereof, to be ascertained by agreement between the receiver and the owner, or failing agreement, by some person to be named for the purpose by the Authority.
(4) The sum paid to the receiver as the value of any property under this section shall be deemed to be the proceeds of sale of that property.
162. The provisions of this Part relating to removal of wrecks shall apply to every article or thing or collection of things being or forming part of the tackle, equipment, cargo, stores or ballast of a ship in the same manner as if it were included in the term “ship”, and for the purposes of those provisions any proceeds of sale arising from a ship and from the cargo thereof, or any other property recovered therefrom, shall be regarded as a common fund.
163. Any person who takes into any foreign port any ship, stranded, derelict or otherwise in distress found on or near the coasts of Singapore, or any tidal water within the limits of Singapore, or any part of the cargo or apparel thereof or anything belonging thereto, or any wreck found within those limits, and there sells the same, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.
—(1) No person shall, without the leave of the master, board or endeavour to board any ship which is wrecked, stranded or in distress, unless he is, or acts by command of, the receiver or a person lawfully acting as such.
(2) Any person who acts in contravention of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 and the master of the ship may repel him by force.
(3) No person shall —
impede or hinder, or endeavour in any way to impede or hinder, the saving of any ship stranded or in danger of being stranded, or otherwise in distress on or near any coast or tidal water, or of any part of the cargo or apparel thereof or of any wreck;
secrete any wreck, or deface or obliterate any marks thereon; or
wrongfully carry away or remove any part of a ship stranded or in danger of being stranded, or otherwise in distress on or near any coast or tidal water, or any part of the cargo or apparel thereof or any wreck.
(4) Any person who acts in contravention of sub-section (3) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000, and such fine may be imposed in addition to any punishment to which he may be liable by law under this Act or otherwise.
—(1) Where a receiver suspects or receives information that any wreck is secreted or in the possession of some person who is not the owner thereof or that any wreck is otherwise improperly dealt with, the receiver may apply to a Magistrate’s Court for a search warrant.
(2) The Magistrate’s Court may grant the search warrant, and the receiver, by virtue thereof, may enter any house or other place wherever situate and also any ship and search for, seize and detain any such wreck found therein.
(3) If any such seizure of wreck is made in consequence of information given by any person to the receiver, the informer shall be entitled, by way of salvage, to such sum as the receiver allows.
—(1) Where the services are rendered wholly or in part within Singapore in saving life from any ship, or elsewhere in saving life from any Singapore ship, there shall be payable to the salvor by the owner of the ship, cargo or apparel saved, a reasonable amount of salvage to be determined in case of dispute in the manner hereinafter mentioned.
(2) Salvage in respect of the preservation of life when payable by the owners of the ship shall be payable in priority to all other claims for salvage.
(3) Where the ship, cargo and apparel are destroyed, or the value thereof is insufficient, after payment of the actual expenses incurred, to pay the amount of salvage payable in respect of the preservation of life, the Minister may, in his discretion, award to the salvor out of the Consolidated Fund such sum as he thinks fit in whole or part satisfaction of any amount of salvage so left unpaid.
167. Where any ship is wrecked, stranded or in distress at any place on or near the coasts of Singapore, or in any tidal water within the limits of Singapore, and services are rendered by any person in assisting that ship or saving the cargo or apparel of that ship or any part thereof, and where services are rendered by any person other than a receiver in saving any wreck, there shall be payable to the salvor by the owner of the ship, cargo, apparel or wreck, a reasonable amount of salvage to be determined in case of dispute in the manner hereinafter mentioned.
—(1) Disputes as to the amount of salvage, whether of life or property and whether rendered within or without Singapore, arising between the salvor and the owners of any ship, cargo, apparel or wreck shall, if not settled by agreement, arbitration or otherwise, be determined summarily by a District Court in any case where —
the parties to the dispute consent;
the value of the property saved does not exceed $50,000; and
the amount claimed does not exceed $50,000.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), disputes as to salvage shall be determined by the High Court, but if the claimant does not recover in the High Court more than $50,000, he shall not be entitled to recover any costs, charges or expenses incurred by him in the prosecution of his claim unless the Court certifies that the case is a fit one to be tried by the High Court.
(3) Disputes relating to salvage may be determined on the application either of the salvor or of the owner of the property saved or of their respective agents.
169. A District Court may, for the purpose of determining a dispute as to salvage, call in to its assistance any person conversant with maritime affairs as assessor, and there shall be paid as part of the costs of the proceedings to every such assessor in respect of his services such sum as the Authority directs.
170. Where a dispute relating to salvage has been determined by a District Court, any party aggrieved by the decision may appeal therefrom in accordance with the Rules of Court to the Court of Appeal, but no such appeal shall be allowed unless the sum in dispute exceeds $2,000.
—(1) Where any dispute as to salvage arises, the receiver may, on the application of either party, appoint a valuer to value the property, and shall give copies of the valuation to both parties.
(2) Any copy of the valuation purporting to be signed by the valuer, and to be certified as a true copy by the receiver, shall be admissible as evidence in any subsequent proceedings.
(3) Such fee as the Authority directs shall be paid in respect of the valuation by the person applying for the valuation.
—(1) Where salvage is due to any person under this Act, the receiver shall —
if the salvage is due in respect of services rendered in assisting any ship, or in saving life therefrom, or in saving the cargo or apparel thereof, detain the ship and cargo or apparel; and
if the salvage is due in respect of the saving of any wreck, and the wreck is not sold as unclaimed under this Act, detain the wreck.
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the receiver shall detain the ship and the cargo and apparel, or the wreck (referred to in this Act as detained property), until payment is made for salvage or process is issued for the arrest or detention thereof by the High Court.
(3) A receiver may release any detained property if security is given to his satisfaction or, if the claim for salvage exceeds $1,000 and any question is raised as to the sufficiency of the security, to the satisfaction of a Judge of the High Court.
(4) Any security given for salvage under this section to an amount exceeding $1,000 may be enforced by the High Court in the same manner as if bail had been given in that Court.
—(1) The receiver may sell any detained property if the persons liable to pay the salvage in respect of which the property is detained are aware of the detention in the following cases:
where the amount is not disputed and payment of the amount due is not made within 20 days after the amount is due;
where the amount is disputed but no appeal lies, and payment is not made within 20 days after the decision of the High Court; or
where the amount is disputed and an appeal lies from the decision of the High Court to the Court of Appeal, and within 20 days of the decision neither payment of the sum due is made nor have any proceedings been taken for the purpose of appeal.
(2) The proceeds of sale of the detained property shall, after payment of the expenses of the sale, be applied by the receiver in payment of the expenses, fees and salvage and, so far as not required for that purpose, shall be paid to the owners of the property or any other persons entitled to receive the proceeds.
—(1) Where the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage services rendered in Singapore has been finally determined, either summarily in the manner provided by this Act or by agreement, and does not exceed $1,000, but a dispute arises as to the apportionment thereof among several claimants, the person liable to pay the amount may apply to the receiver for liberty to pay the amount to him.
(2) The receiver shall, if he thinks fit, receive the amount accordingly, and shall grant to the person paying the amount a certificate of the amount paid and of the services in respect of which it is paid, and that certificate shall be a full discharge and indemnity to the person by whom the money is paid and to his ship, cargo, apparel and effects against the claims of all persons whomsoever in respect of the services mentioned in the certificate.
(3) The receiver shall as soon as practicable distribute any amount received by him under this section among the persons entitled to the money on such evidence and in such shares and proportions as he thinks fit, and may retain any money which appears to him to be payable to any person who is absent.
(4) A distribution made by the receiver under this section shall be final and conclusive as against all persons claiming to be entitled to any portion of the amount distributed.
175. Whenever the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage service rendered in Singapore has been finally ascertained and exceeds $1,000 and whenever the aggregate amount of salvage payable in respect of salvage services rendered elsewhere has been finally ascertained, whatever that amount may be, then, if any delay or dispute arises as to the apportionment thereof, the High Court may —
cause the amount to be apportioned amongst the persons entitled thereto in such manner as the Court thinks just, and may for that purpose, if the Court thinks fit, appoint any person to carry that apportionment into effect;
compel any person in whose hands or under whose control the amount may be to distribute the amount or to bring the amount into court to be there dealt with as the Court directs; and
for the purposes aforesaid, issue such processes as the Court thinks fit.
176. Subject to this Act and any other written law in force in Singapore, the High Court shall have jurisdiction to decide upon all claims whatsoever relating to salvage, whether the services in respect of which salvage is claimed were performed on the high seas or within Singapore, or partly on the high seas and partly within Singapore, and whether the wreck in respect of which salvage is claimed is found on the sea or on the land or partly on the sea and partly on the land.
—(1) There shall be paid to every receiver the expenses properly incurred by him in the performance of his duties, and such fees as may be directed by the Authority in respect of such matters as the Authority may, by notification in the Gazette, from time to time specify; but the receiver shall not be entitled to any remuneration other than those payments.
(2) The receiver shall, in addition to all other rights and remedies for the recovery of those expenses or fees, have the same rights and remedies in respect thereof as a salvor has in respect of salvage due to him.
(3) Whenever any dispute arises as to the amount payable to any receiver in respect of expenses or fees, that dispute shall be determined by the Authority whose decision shall be final.
(4) All fees received by a receiver in respect of services performed by him as receiver shall be accounted for to the Authority and shall form part of the funds of the Authority.