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Chapter 03 - Boat Operations

Chapter 03 - Boat Operations

20.0301 Policy.


It is the policy of this Territory to promote safety for persons and property in and connected with the use, operation and equipment or vessels and to promote uniformity of law relating thereto.

20.0302 Definitions.


As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(a) “Associated equipment” means a system, part, or component of a boat as originally manufactured, or any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement, repair, or improvement of the system, part, or component; an accessory or equipment for, or appurtenance to, a boat; or a marine safety article, accessory, or equipment intended for use by a person on board a boat, excluding radio equipment.

(b) “Boat” means a vessel which is manufactured or used primarily for noncommercial use; leased, rented or chartered to another for non-commercial use; or engaged in the carrying of not more than 6 passengers.

(c) “Vessel livery” means a business which holds a vessel for renting, leasing, or chartering.

(d) “Lifeboat” means a small boat designated and used solely for lifesaving purposes, and does not include dinghies, tenders, speedboats, or other types of craft carried aboard vessels and used for other than lifesaving purposes.

(e) “Manufacturer” means a person engaged in the manufacture, construction, or assembly of boats or associated equipment to be sold for subsequent assembly; or the importation of a boat or associated equipment into the state for sale.

(f) “Motorboat” means any vessel of any size propelled by machinery whether or not the machinery is the prinicipal source of propulsion.

(g) “Operate” means to navigate or otherwise use a vessel.

(h) “Operator” means the person who is in control or in charge of a vessel while it is in use.

(i) “Owner” means a person, other than a lienholder, having the property in or title to a vessel, and includes a person entitled to the use or possession of a vessel subject to an interest in another person, reserved or created by agreement and securing payment or performance of an obligation, but excludes a lessee under a lease not intended as security.

(j) “Passenger” means a person carried on board a vessel other than the owner or his representative, the operator, bona fide members of the crew engaged in the business of the vessel who have not contributed consideration for their carriage and who are paid for their services, or a guest on board a vessel which is being used exclusively for pleasure purposes who has not contributed any consideration, directly or indirectly, for his carriage.

(k) “Person” means an individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association or other entity.

(l) “State” means a state of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia.

(m) “Undocumented vessel” means a vessel which does not have and is not required to have a valid marine document as a vessel of the United States.

(n) “Use” means to operate, navigate, or employ.

(o) “Vessel” means every description of watercraft other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, but does not include Samoan fishing canoes or rowboats propelled by hand.

(p) “Waters of this Territory” means any waters within the Territorial limits of this Territory, marginal sea adjacent to this Territory, and the high seas when navigated as a part of a journey or ride to or from the shore of this Territory.

20.0303 Applicability.


(a) This chapter applies to vessels and associated equipment used, to be used, or carried in vessels used on waters subject to the jurisdiction of this Territory.

(b) This chapter, except those sections where the content expressly indicates otherwise, does not apply to:

(1) foreign vessels temporarily using waters subject to Territory jurisdiction;

(2) military or public vessels of the United States, except recreational-type public vessels;

(3) a vessel whose owner is a state or subdivision of it, other than this Territory, which is used principally for governmental purposes, and which is clearly identifiable as such; and

(4) ships’ lifeboats.

20.0304 Administrative rules.


(a) The Department of Public Safety may adopt administrative rules under 4.1001 et seq. to implement this chapter with respect to:

(1) the numbering and marking of undocumented vessels;

(2) requirements for associated equipment;

(3) boat and associated equipment standards;

(4) operating requirements:

(5) boating safety education; and

(6) safety patrol and enforcement activity.

(7) violations of provisions of these chapters.

(b) The Department of Public Safety shall adopt administrative rules under 4.1001 et seq. necessary to require all vessels, including those exempted from other sections of this chapter, to comply with uniform reporting and investigation of standards of casualties and accidents.

20.0305 Release of information.


(1) A person may request from the Department of Port Administration, vessel numbering and registration information which is retrievable from the vessels numbering system records of the department. When the department is satisfied that the request is reasonable and related to a boating safety purpose, the information must be furnished upon payment of the person of the cost of retrieval and furnishing of the information requested.

(2) Boating accident reports required under the authority of this chapter are not public records available for public inspection or release. The fact that these reports have been made is admissible in evidence solely to show compliance with this chapter. A report, its parts, and any statement contained in the report is not admissible as evidence for any purpose in any civil or criminal trial.

(3) Boating accident reports and any information compiled therefrom may be released to the law enforcement agencies and officials of the United States Coast Guard for analytical and statistical purposes.

20.0306 Fees.


For each vessel required to be registered and numbered under this chapter, the Department of Public Safety shall assess and collect from the owner the following fees and charges:

(1) Initial annual registration fee. For the issuance of an original certificate;

(A) For each vessel less than twenty feet in length, $10.00;

(B) For each vessel twenty feet or more in length, $20.00;

(C) For each amphibious vehicle that is licensed as a motor vehicles, $10.00;

(2) Annual certificate renewal fee. For the annual renewal of a certificate:

(A) For each vessel less than twenty feet in length, $5.00;

(B) For each vessel twenty feet or more in length, $10.00;

(C) For each amphibious vehicle that is licensed as a motor vehicle, $5.00;

(3) Reregistration fee for the reregistration of a vessel, after a certificate has been canceled or voided, the appropriate amount provided in (1)(A) or (B) of this section.

(4) Transfer fee. For the transfer of a certificate, $5.00;

(5) Certificate and registration sticker replacement fee. For the issuance of a replacement certificate or a replacement set of vessel registration stickers, $10.00;

(6) Certificate modification fee. For modifying a certificate, $5.00;

(7) Penalty charges for lateness. For each month or fraction thereof that a registration, renewal, reregistration or transfer is delinquent, one tenth of the appropriate fee shall be added to the normal fee;

(8) Exemptions. The department may reasonably establish, by rules, exemptions from the fees required by this section.

(9) The above fees and charges may be modified after every 5 years. The Department of Public Safety shall initiate the modification of fees and charges under this chapter.

20.0310 Numbering of vessels-Required.


(a) Every vessel operating on the waters of this Territory must be numbered in accordance with the Federal Boat Safety Act, 46 U.S.C.§ 1451 et seq., 33 CFR Parts 173 & 174, and 46 U.S.C. Chapter 123.

(b) No person may operate or give permission to operate any vessel on such waters unless the vessel is numbered in accordance with this chapter, or in accordance with a federally approved numbering system within a state, and unless (1) a certificate of number awarded to such vessel is in full force and effect, and (2) the identifying number set forth in the certificate of number is displayed on each side of the bow of the vessel. This section does not apply to a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States Government or any federal agency successive thereto.

(c) The owner of any vessel is required to register every year upon expiration of the certificate of numbers on December 31 with the Department of Public Safety. This section does not apply to a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States Government or any federal agency successive thereto.

(d) Each person using a vessel to which this part applies shall present the certificate of number and shall surrender the certificate in a manner prescribed by the issuing authority within 15 days after it becomes invalid under the following circumstances;

(1) The person whose name appears on the certificate of number as owner of the vessel transfers all of his ownership of the vessel;

(2) The vessel is destroyed or abandoned;

(3) A certificate of number issued authority is invalid if:

(A) The application for the certificate of number contains a false or untrue statement;

(B) The fees for the issuance of the certificate of number are not paid;

(C) A certificate of number is invalid 60 days after the day on which the vessel is no longer principally used in the territorial waters of American Samoa where the certificate was issued.

(a) The certificate of number is invalid when the person whose name appears on the certificate involuntarily loses his interest in the numbered vessel by legal process.

(b) If a certificate of number is lost or destroyed, the person whose names appears on the certificate as the owner may apply for a duplicate certificate by submitting to the issuing authority an application on forms supplied by the issuing authority. Payment of a fee charged for the reissuance must be made before the certificate is issued.

(c) A temporary certificate is valid for not more than 60 days after it is issued by the issuing authority pending the issuance of a certificate of number. A temporary certificate is not valid after the date that the owner receives the official certificate of number from the issuing authority.

(d) Each form for application for a certificate of number must contain the following information:

(1) Name of owner of vessel;

(2) Address of the owner;

(3) State in which vessel is or will be principally used;

(4) The number previously issued by an authority for the vessel, if any;

(5) Whether the application is for a number, renewal of number, or transfer of ownership;

(6) Whether the vessel is used for pleasure, rent or lease, dealer or manufacturer demonstration, commercial passenger carrying, commercial fishing, or other commercial use;

(7) Year vessel was manufactured or model year;

(8) Manufacturer's hull identification number, if any;

(9) Overall length of vessel;

(10) Type of vessel (open, cabin, house, or other);

(11) Whether the hull is wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass, plastic or other;

(12) Whether the propulsion is inboard, inboard outdrive, sail or other;

(13) Whether the fuel is gasoline, diesel, or other;

(14) The signature of owner;

(b) Each certificate of number must contain the following information;

(1) Number issued to the vessel;

(2) Expiration date of certificate;

(3) State of principal use;

(4) Whether the vessel is used for pleasure, rent or lease, dealer or manufacturer demonstration, commercial passenger carrying, commercial fishing or other commercial use;

(5) Address of owner, including zip code;

(6) Manufacturer's hull identification number if any;

(7) Make of vessel;

(8) Year vessel was manufactured;

(9) Overall length of vessel;

(10) Whether the vessel is an open boat, cabin cruiser, houseboat, or other type;

(11) Hull material; wood, steel, aluminum, fiberglass plastic or others;

(12) Whether the propulsion is inboard, outboard, inboard outboard drive, or sail;

(13) Whether the fuel is gasoline or diesel or other.

20.0311 Numbering of vessels-Exemptions.


A vessel shall not be required to be numbered under this chapter if it is:

(1) a vessel which has a valid marine document issued by the Bureau of Customs of the United States Government or any federal agency successor thereto;

(2) already covered by a number in full force and effect which has been awarded to it pursuant to federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state; provided, that such vessel shall not have been within this Territory for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days;

(3) a vessel from a country other than the United States temporarily using the waters of this Territory;

(4) a vessel owned by the United States, the Government of American Samoa, a state or a subdivision thereof;

(5) a ship’s lifeboat:

(6) a vessel belonging to a class of vessels exempted from numbering by the department of port administration after said department has found that the numbering of vessels of such class will not materially aid in their identification; and, if an agency of the Federal Government has a numbering system applicable to the class of vessels to which the vessel in question belongs, after the Department of Port Administration has further found that the vessel would also be exempt from numbering if it were subject to the federal law.

20.0312 Identification number.


The owner of any vessel required to be numbered pursuant to 20.0310 must display the number in accordance with the law under which the vessel is registered and proof of the registration must be furnished to the Director of the Department of Port Administration within 30 days of the registration of the vessel and as of 30 January of each year thereafter.

20.0320 Safety equipment required.


(a) Every vessel shall have aboard such safety equipment as shall be set out in the rules and regulations of the Department of Public Safety. Such safety equipment may consist of, but shall not be limited to, the following:

(1) one life preserver, buoyant vest, ring buoy or buoyant cushion, of a type approved by the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard and in good and serviceable condition, for each person on board;

(2) when in operation between sunset and sunrise, a light or lights, sufficient as determined by the Director of Public Safety, to make the vessel’s presence and location known to any and all other vessels within a reasonable distance;

(3) each vessel shall have a backfire flame arrester; one approved device on each carburetor of all gasoline engines except outboard motors;

(4) if carrying or using any inflammable or toxic fluid in an enclosure for any purpose, and if not an entirely open vessel, an efficient natural or mechanical ventilation system, which shall be capable of removing resulting gases prior to, and during, the time such vessel is occupied by a person; when no fixed extinguishing system is installed in machinery spaces, at least one B-1 type approved hand portable fire extinguisher;

(5) each additional equipment designed to promote the safety of navigation and of persons as the Department of Public Safety may find to be appropriate and for which it has provided in its rules and regulations.

(b) Vessels of the following types should have the following distress signal devices:

(1) Vessels 16 feet in length should have the following distress signal devices:

(A) Pyrotechnic red flares, hand held or aerial;

(B) Pyrotechnic orange smoke, hand held or floating;

(C) Launchers for aerial red meters or parachute flares;

(D) Orange distress flag;

(E) Electric distress light;

(2) Vessels 16 feet to less than 26 feet in length shall have the following devices and distress signal devices:

(A) One life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD) for each person on board;

(B) Back-fire flame arrester;

(C) Portable/Fire extinguisher;

(D) Three hand-held red flares for day and night use;

(E) One electric distress light for night;

(F) One hand-held red flare and two parachute flares for day and night use;

(G) One hand-held smoke signal, two floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light for day and night use;

(3) Vessels 26 feet to less than 40 feet in length shall have the following devices and distress signal devices;

(A) One life jacket or PFD for each person on board;

(B) Back-fire flame arrester;

(C) Portable/Fire extinguisher, at least two B-1 Type approved hand portable fire extinguishers; or at least two B-1 Type approved portable fire extinguishers or at least one B-11 Type approved;

(D) Three hand-held red flares;

(E) One electric distress light;

(F) One hand-held red flare and two parachute flares for day and night use;

(G) One hand-held smoke signal, two floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light for day and night;

(H) No person may operate a boat built after July 31, 1980, that has a gasoline engine unless it is equipped with an operable ventilation system. For boats built after April 25, 1940, and before August 1, 1980 (with engines using gasoline fuel and other fuels having a flashpoint of 110° F or less) the following is required:

(i) At least two ventilating ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the purposes of properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment. There shall be at least one exhaust duct installed so as to extend to the lower portion of the bilge.

(ii) For boats which are built after July 31, 1978, but prior to August 1, 1980, there is no requirement for ventilation of the fuel tank compartment if there is no electrical source in the compartment and if the fuel tank vents to the outside of the boat. The operator of a vessel is required to keep the system in operating condition;

(iii) Visual distress signal requirements shall be the same as for vessels 26 feet to 40 feet in length.

(4) Vessels between 40 feet and 65 feet in length shall have the following devices and distress signal devices:

(A) One life jacket or PFD for each person on board and one type IV PFD;

(B) Back-fire flame arrester requirement is same as for 26 feet to 40 feet vessels stated above;

(C) Ventilation requirements is the same as those of 26 feet to 40 feet vessels;

(D) Portable/Fire extinguisher shall be at least three B-1 Type approved portable fire extinguishers; when an approved fixed system is installed, one less B-1 Type is required.

(E) Visual distress signal is same as for vessels 26 to 40 feet in length.

(c) No person may operate or give permission for the operation of a vessel which is not required by this section or modification thereof.

(d) The Refuse Act of 1899 prohibits the throwing, discharging or deposing of any refuse matter or any refuse matter of any kind (including trash, garbage, oil and other liquid pollutants into the waters of the United States and its territories to a distance of three miles from the coastline. The Federal Water Pollution Contract Act prohibits the discharge of oil or hazardous substances in quantities which may be harmful into U.S. and its Territorial navigable waters, the Contiguous Zone, and water within 200 miles in some cases. You must immediately notify the commissioner of public safety if your vessel or facility discharges oil or hazardous substances into the water. Federal regulation issued under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act requires that:

(1) no person may operate a vessel of less than 100 gross tons unless it has a fixed or portable means to discharge oil bilge slop to a reception facility. A bucket or bailer is considered a portable means.

(2) Vessels 26 feet in length and over must have posted a placard at least 5 by 8 inches, made of durable material, fixed in a conspicuous place in the machinery spaces, or at the bilge pump control station, stating the following: "THE DISCHARGE OF OIL PROHIBITED - THE FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT, PROHIBITS THE DISCHARGE OF OIL OR OILY WASTE INTO OR UPON THE NAVIGABLE WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES OR WATERS OF THE CONTIGUOUS ZONE, IF SUCH DISCHARGE CAUSES A FILM OR SHEEN UPON, OR DISCOLORATION OF THE SURFACE OF THE WATER, OR CAUSES A SLUDGE OR EMULSION BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE WATER. VIOLATORS ARE SUBJECT TO A PENALTY OF $5,000.

(e) Marine sanitation devices.

All recreational boats with installed toilet facilities must have an installed operable marine sanitation device (MSD). Boats under 65 feet in length may use a Type I, II or III MSD. All installed MSD's must be Coast Guard certified devices and are so labeled except for holding tanks, which are already certified by definition under the regulation, if they store only sewage and flushwater at ambient air pressure and temperature.

(f) Ventilation requirements.

The purpose of the ventilation requirements is to prevent fires and explosions aboard gasoline powered pleasure boats by ventilating compartments which contain fuel vapors.

(1) All motorboats or motor vessels, except open boats, and as provided in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, the construction or decking over of which is commenced after April 25, 1940, and which use fuel having a flash point of 110° F or less, shall have at least two ventilator ducts, fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the efficient removal of explosive or flammable gases from the bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment. There shall be at least one exhaust duct installed so as to extend from the open atmosphere to the lower portion of the bilge and at least one intake bilge below the level of the carburetor air intake. The cowls shall be located and trimmed for maximum effectiveness so as to prevent displaced fumes from being circulated.

(2) The term "open boats", means those motor boats or motor vessels with all engine and fuel tank compartments, and other spaces to which explosive or flammable gases and vapors from these compartments may flow, open to the atmosphere and so arranged as to prevent the entrapment of such gases and vapors within the vessel.

(3) Where alterations are needed for existing motorboats or motor vessels to comply with the requirements in this section, such alterations shall be accomplished as soon as practical but in any case shall be completed within six weeks of notification of discrepancy.

(4) Boats built after July 31, 1978, are exempted from the requirements of paragraph (a) for fuel tank compartments that:

(A) Contain a permanently installed fuel tank if each electrical component is ignition protected:

(B) Contain fuel tanks that vent to the outside of the boat;

(1) The current criteria for determination of an open compartment is that three conditions must be met in order to consider an engine or fuel compartment open to the atmosphere and therefore exempt from federal ventilation requirements. These three conditions are:

(A) Engine and fuel tank compartments shall have as a minimum 25 square inches of open area directly exposed to the atmosphere for each cubic foot of net compartment volume;

(B) There must be no long or narrow unventilated spaces accessible from such compartments in which a flame front could propagate;

(C) Long narrow compartments such as side panels if joining engine or fuel compartments and not serving as ducts thereto, shall have at least 15 square inch openings at 15 inch intervals along the length of the compartment formed. No person may operate a boat built after 31 July 1980, that has a gasoline engine for electrical generation, mechanical power, or propulsion unless it is equipped with an operable ventilation system that meets the requirements.

20.0321 Vessel liveries-Records and safety equipment.


(a) The owner of a vessel livery shall cause to be kept a record of the name and address or persons hiring any vessel designed or permitted by him to be operated as a vessel, the identification number thereof, and the departure date and time, and the expected time

of return. The record shall be preserved for at least 6 months.

(b) Neither the owner of the vessel livery, or his agent or employee, may permit any vessel designed or permitted by him to be operated as a vessel to depart from his premises unless it has been provided, either by owner or renter, with the equipment required pursuant to 20.0320 and any rules and regulations made pursuant thereto.

20.0322 Mufflers on motorboats.


The exhaust of every internal combustion engine used on any motorboat shall be effectively muffled by equipment so constructed and used as to muffle the noise of the exhaust in a reasonable manner. The use of cutouts is prohibited, except for motorboats competing in a regatta or boat race approved as provided in 20.0333 and for such motorboats while on trial runs, during a period not to exceed 48 hours immediately preceding such regatta or race, and for such motorboats while competing in official trials for speed records during a period not to exceed 48 hours immediately following such regatta or race.

20.0330 Operation of motorboats or vessels.


(a) A person may not use or give permission for the use of any vessel to which this chapter applies, unless the vessel is in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and the appli-cable rules promulgated pursuant to 4.1001 et seq. under the authority of this chapter.

(b) A person may not operate a motorboat or vessel, or manipulate any water skis, surfboard, or similar device:

(1) in a reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the life or property of any person; or

(2) while under the influence of alcohol or any narcotic drug.

(c) A person may not operate any vessel in excessive speed which tends to create a dangerous wake causing other boats in the vicinity to ship water, lose equipment, or in other ways receive damage or threaten the safety of persons in nearby boats.

(d) A person may not operate any vessel within an area where swimmers are normally present or in areas that are marked by warning signs, posters, buoys, or other means to inform the public of the hazard present.

(e) A person may not operate any vessel in an area where a regatta or marine parade is in progress in a way that could create hazard to participants or spectators, or interfere with the safe conduct of the event or otherwise cause an unreasonable nuisance.

20.0331 Duties of persons involved in accidents.


(a) It is the duty of the operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, so far as he can do so without serious danger to his own vessel, crew and passengers (if any), to render to other persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty such assistance as may be practicable and as may be necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision, accident or other casualty, and also to give his name, address, and identification of his-vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty.

(b) If the collision, accident, or other casualty results in death or injury to a person or damage to property in excess of $100, the operators of the vessels involved shall file with the Department of Public Safety a complete report of the collision, accident, or other casualty on forms approved by the Department of Public Safety. Such report shall be submitted within 48 hours after the occurrence. Where a person dies or is lost at sea or where a person is injured that requires medical treatment beyond first aid, the report shall be filed within 24 hours of the occurrence.

(c) When, as a result of an occurrence that involves a vessel, the operator or any person on board the vessel shall, without delay, by the quickest means available notify the Department of Public Safety, marine enforcement division of the following:

(1) the date, time, and exact location of the occurrence;

(2) the name of each person who died or disappeared;

(3) the number of and name of the vessel; and

(4) the names and addresses of the owner and operator.

20.0332 Towing water skiers and surfers- Regulations.


(a) No person may operate a vessel on any waters of this Territory for towing a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device unless there is in such vessel a person, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person or persons being towed.

(b) No person may operate a vessel on any waters of this Territory towing a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar activity, at any time between the hours from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.

(c) Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition or a person or persons engaged in an activity authorized under 20.0333.

(d) No person may operate or manipulate any vessel, tow, rope, or other device by which the direction or location of water skis, a surfboard or a similar device may be affected or controlled in such a way as to cause the water skis, surfboard, similar device, or any person thereon to collide with or strike against any object or person.

20.0333 Regattas, races, marine parades, tournaments, and exhibitions.


(a) The Department of Public Safety may authorize the holding of regattas, motorboat or other boat races, marine parades, tournaments, or exhibitions on any waters of this Territory.

(b) It shall adopt, and may from time to time amend, rules concerning the safety of motorboats and other vessels and persons thereon, either observers or participants.

(c) Whenever a regatta, motorboat or other vessel race, marine parade, tournament or exhibition is proposed to be held, the person in charge thereof shall, at least 30 days prior thereto, file an application with the Department of Port Administration for permission to hold such regatta, motorboat or other vessel race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition. The application shall be made on a form provided by the Department of Public Safety and shall set forth the date and time when, and location where it is proposed to hold such regatta, motorboat or other vessel race, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition. No event shall be conducted without authorization of the Department of Public Safety in writing.

(d) The provisions of this section do not exempt any person from compliance with applicable federal law or regulation, but nothing contained in this section shall be construed to require the securing of a Territorial permit pursuant to this section if a permit therefor has been obtained from an authorized agency of the United States.

20.0340 Civil liability of vessel owners.


The owner of a vessel is liable for any injury or damage occasioned by the negligent operation of such vessel whether such negligence consists of a violation of the provisions of the law of this Territory or neglecting to observe such ordinary care and such operation as the rules of the common law require. The owner is not to be liable, however, unless such vessel is being used with his or her express or implied consent. It shall be presumed that such vessel is being operated with the knowledge and consent of the owner if, at the time of the injury or damage, it is under the control of his or her spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter or other immediate member of the owner’s family. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve any other person from any liability which he would otherwise have, but nothing contained in this section shall be construed to authorize or permit any recovery in excess of injury or damage actually incurred.

20.0341 Filing and publication of regulations.


(a) A copy of the regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, and of any amendments thereto, shall be filed in the office of the Department of Port Administration.

(b) Rules shall be published by the Department of Port Administration in a convenient form.

20.0342 Enforcement of chapter.


Members of the police force of the Department of Public Safety, officers and members of the United States Coast Guard stationed in American Samoa, and other persons as provided by the rules of the department of public safety, have authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter, and in exercise thereof, have authority to stop and board any vessel subject to this chapter and also have the authority to arrest violators of provisions of this chapter.

20.0343 Violation-Penalty.


(a) Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter, or of the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; provided that in addition to, or as a condition to the suspension of the fines and penalties, the court may deprive the offender of the privilege of operating any vessel, in the waters of the Territory for a period not more than two years.

(b) Except when required by Territorial law to take the purported violator immediately before a district judge a person arrested for a violation of any provision of this chapter including any rule or regulation adopted and promulgated pursuant to this chapter, the enforcement officer, upon arresting a person for violation of any provision herein, including any rule or regulation adopted and promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall, in the discretion of the enforcement officer, either (1) issue a summons or citation to the purported violator to appear and answer to the charge against him or her at a certain place and at a time within fourteen days after such arrest, or (2) where there is a possibility that the purported violator may flee the Territory of American Samoa and that there is a likelihood that he or she will not make the appearance within the time and place as stated in the summons or citation, the enforcement officer shall take the purported violator without unnecessary delay before a district judge for arraignment and a bail to assure his appearance may be set by the district judge.

Said summons or citation shall be printed in a form comparable to the form of summons and citations used for arresting offenders in traffic cases in American Samoa. The form and content of such summons or citation shall be adopted or prescribed by the commissioner of public safety or his authorized representatives.

The original of a summons or citation shall be given to the purported violator and the other copy or copies shall be filed with the District Court and the Department of Public Safety. The District Court may prescibe alternative methods of distribution for the original and any other copies.

Summonses and citations shall be consecutively numbered and the carbon copy or copies of each shall bear the same number.

Any person who fails to appear at the place and within the time specified in the summons or citation issued to the person by the enforcement officer, upon the person's arrest for violation of any provision of this chapter, including any rule and regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter, shall be guilty of misdemeanor and, on condition shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

In the event any person fails to comply with a summons or citation issued to such person, or if any person fails or refuses to deposit bail as required, the enforcement officer shall cause a complaint to be entered against such person and secure the issuance of warrant for that person's arrest. When a complaint is made to any prosecuting officer of the violation of any provision of this chapter, including any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, the enforcement officer who issued the summons or citation shall subscribe to it under oath administered by another official of the Department of Public Safety or officials of the High Court or District Court who has been appointed and authorized by the Governor of American Samoa to administer oaths and take acknowledgements.