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Assistance by United States Vessels.
The Coast Guard cutters on the northern and northwestern lakes, when put in commission, shall be specially charged with aiding vessels in distress on the lakes. (R. S., 2759.)
The President may, when the necessities of the service permit it, cause any suitable number of public vessels adapted to the purpose to cruise upon the coast in the season of severe weather and to afford such aid to distressed navigators as their circumstances may require; and such public vessels shall go to sea fully prepared to render such assistance. (R. S., 1536.) Removal of Derelicts.
The President of the United States is hereby authorized to make with the several governments interested in the navigation of the North Atlantic Ocean an international agreement providing for the reporting, marking, and removal of dangerous wrecks, derelicts, and other menaces to navigation in the North Atlantic Ocean outside the coast waters of the respective countries bordering thereon. (Oct. 31, 1893.)
The President in his discretion may temporarily detail any vessel or vessels of the Navy to remove or destroy derelicts in the course of vessels at sea. The regulations to govern the detail and service of said vessels shall be prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy and approved by the President. (Mar. 3, 1905.)
The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to have constructed, at a cost not to exceed two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, a steam vessel specially fitted for and adapted to service at sea in bad weather, for the purpose of blowing up or otherwise destroying or towing into port wrecks, derelicts, and other floating dangers to navigation, said vessel to be operated and maintained by the Coast Guard under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe. (May 12, 1906.) Dumping Oil Waste into Navigable Waters. Whereas the careless casting of oil refuse into the sea from oil-burn
ing and oil-carrying steamers has become a serious menace to the maritime and the fishing industries of the United States and other countries; and
Whereas the fire hazard created by the accumulation of floating oil
on the piles of piers and bulkheads into harbor waters is a growing source of alarm; and Whereas most serious is the destruction of ocean fisheries resulting
from the constant discharge into territorial waters of the waste products of the oil used for fuel on many steamers in place of coal, which threatens to exterminate the food fish, oysters, clams, crabs, and lobsters, which are a vital part of our various national food supplies; and Whereas the dumping of this oil refuse is not only ruining the bath
ing beaches situate on the territorial waters of the various countries, which during the summer attract hundreds of thousands of people to the seashore resorts, but the depreciation in value of
millions of dollars of seashore property is most alarming; and Whereas this pollution takes place on the high seas as well as within
territorial waters: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is requested to call a conference of maritime nations with a view to the adoption of effective means for the prevention of pollution of navigable waters. (July 1, 1922.) Lights and Buoys.
The Commissioner of Light-Houses may, when he deems it necessary, place a light-vessel, or other suitable warning of danger, on or over any wreck or temporary obstruction to the entrance of any harbor, or in the channel or fairway of any bay or sound. (R. S., 4676; June 17, 1910, sec. 6.)
The Commissioner of Light-Houses shall properly mark all pier-heads belonging to the United States situated on the northern and northwestern lakes, whenever he is duly notified by the department charged with the construction or repair of pier-heads that the construction or repair of any such pier-heads has been completed. (R. S., 4677; June 17, 1910, sec. 6.)
All buoys along the coast, or in bays, harbors, sounds, or channels, shall be colored and numbered, so that passing up the coast or sound, or entering the bay, harbor, or channel, red buoys with even numbers shall be passed on the starboard hand, black buoys with uneven numbers on the port hand, and buoys with red and black stripes on either hand. Buoys in channel-ways shall be colored with
. alternate white and black perpendicular stripes. (R. S., 4678.) Charts and Manuals.
There shall be a Hydrographic office attached to the Bureau of Navigation in the Navy Department, for the improvement of the means for navigating safely the vessels of the Navy and of the mercantile marine, by providing, under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy, accurate and cheap nautical charts, sailing directions, navigators, and manuals of instructions for the use of all vessels of the United States, and for the benefit and use of navigators generally. (R. S., 431.)
The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to cause to be prepared, at the Hydrographic Office attached to the Bureau of Navigation in the Navy Department, maps, charts, and nautical books relating
to and required in navigation, and to publish and furnish them to navigators at the cost of printing and paper, and to purchase the plates and copyrights of such existing maps, charts, navigators, sailing directions and instructions, as he may consider necessary, and when he may consider it expedient to do so, and under such regulations and instructions as he may prescribe.' (R. S., 432.)
( The charts published by the Coast Survey shall be sold at the office at Washington at the price of the printing and paper thereof, and elsewhere at the same price with the average cost of delivery added thereto; and hereafter there shall be no free distribution of such charts except to the departments of the United States and to the several States and officers of the United States requiring them for public use. (R. S., 4691; June 20, 1878.) Storm and Weather Signals.
The Chief of the Weather Bureau, under the direction of the Secretary of Agriculture, on and after July first, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, shall have charge of the forecasting of weather, the issue of storm warnings, the display of weather and flood signals for the benefit of agriculture, commerce, and navigation, the gauging and reporting of rivers, the maintenance and operation of seacoast telegraph lines and the collection and transmission of marine intelligence for the benefit of commerce and navigation, the reporting of temperature and rain-fall conditions for the cotton interests, the display of frost and cold-wave signals, the distribution of meteorological information in the interests of agriculture and commerce, and the taking of such meteorological observations as may be necessary to establish and record the climatic conditions of the United States, or as are essential for the proper execution of the foregoing duties. (Oct. 1, 1890, sec. 3.) Private Signals.
If a shipowner desires to use for the purpose of a private code any rockets, lights, or other similar signals, he may register those signals and house flags and funnel marks with the Commissioner of Navigation, who shall give public notice from time to time of the signals, house flags, and funnel marks so registered in such manner as he may think requisite for preventing those signals from being mistaken for signals of distress or signals for pilots. The Commissioner of Navigation may refuse to register any signals which in his opinion can not easily be distinguished from signals of distress, signals for pilots, or signals prescribed by laws for preventing collisions. (May 28, 1908, sec. 77.) Interference with Range Lights.
It shall be unlawful for any person to obstruct or interfere with any aid to navigation established or maintained in the Light-House Service under the Bureau of Light-Houses, or to anchor any vessel in any of the navigable waters of the United States so as to obstruct or interfere with range lights maintained therein, and any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine not exceeding the sum of five hundred dollars for each offense, and each day during which such violation shall continue shall be considered as a new offense. (May 14,
, 1908, sec. 6; June 17, 1910.)
Hereafter the penalties provided in section six of the Act of May fourteenth, nineteen hundred and eight, for obstruction to or interference with any aid to navigation maintained by the Lighthouse Service shall apply with equal force and effect to any private aid to navigation lawfully maintained under the authority granted the Secretary of Commerce and the Commissioner of Lighthouses by section six of the Act of June twentieth, nineteen hundred and six. (Mar. 3, 1915, sec. 8.) Exemption from Tolls.
No tolls or operating charges whatever shall be levied upon or collected from any vessel, dredge, or other water craft for passing through any lock, canal, canalized river, or other work for the use and benefit of navigation, now belonging to the United States or that may be hereafter acquired or constructed; and for the purpose of preserving and continuing the use and navigation of said canals and other public works without interruption, the Secretary of War, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, is hereby authorized to draw his warrant or requisition, from time to time, upon the Secretary of the Treasury to pay the actual expenses of operating, maintaining, and keeping said works in repair, which warrants or requisitions shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated : Provided, That whenever, in the judgment of the Secretary of War, the condition of any of the aforesaid works is such that its entire reconstruction is absolutely essential to its efficient and economical maintenance and operation as herein provided for, the reconstruction thereof may include such modifications in plan and location as may be necessary to provide adequate facilities for existing navigation: Provided further, That the modifications are necessary to make the reconstructed work conform to similar works previously authorized by Congress and forming a part of the same improvement, and that such modifications shall be considered and approved by the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors and be recommended by the Chief of Engineers before the work of rəconstruction is commenced: Provided further, also, That an itemized statement of said expenses shall accompany the annual report of the Chief of Engineers: And provided further, That nothing herein contained shall be held to apply to the Panama Canal. (July 5, 1884, sec. 4; Mar. 3, 1909, sec. 6.) Anchorage Grounds.
The Secretary of War is hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to define and establish anchorage grounds for vessels in all harbors, rivers, bays, and other navigable waters of the United States whenever it is manifest to the said Secretary that the maritime or commercial interests of the United States require such anchorage grounds for safe navigation and the establishment of such anchorage grounds shall have been recommended by the Chief of Engineers, and to adopt suitable rules and regulations in relation thereto; and such rules and regulations shall be enforced by the Coast Guard under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury: Provided, That at ports or places where there is no Coast Guard cutter available such rules and regulations may be enforced by the
Chief of Engineers under the direction of the Secretary of War. In the event of the violation of any such rules and regulations by the owner, master, or person in charge of any vessel, such owner, master, or person in charge of such vessel shall be liable to a penalty of $100; and the said vessel may be holden for the payment of such penalty, and may be seized and proceeded against summarily by libel for the recovery of the same in any United States district court for the district within which such vessel may be and in the name of the officer designated by the Secretary of War. (Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 7.)
The Secretary of the Navy is hereby authorized and empowered to define and establish suitable anchorage grounds in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and the adjacent waters for the combined fleets of the United States and foreign Governments which may rendezvous there prior to proceeding to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, to be held at to city and county of San Francisco, California, in the year ninetean hundred and fifteen, as well as to define and establish suitable anchorage grounds in the Bay of San Francisco and the approaches and waters adjacent thereto during the continuance of the said Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and the Secretary of the Navy is hereby further authorized to make such rules and regulations regarding the movements of all vessels in all of the waters named as may be necessary in order to insure the proper and orderly conduct of such features as may be planned for the combined fleets and to provide for the safety of the vessels participating therein; and such rules and regulations when so issued and published shall have the force and effect of law. (June 30, 1914, sec. 7.)
That hereafter the Commissioner of Lighthouses shall provide, establish, and maintain, out of the annual appropriations for the Lighthouse Service, buoys or other suitable marks for marking anchorage grounds for vessels in waters of the United States, when such anchorage grounds have been defined and established by proper authority in accordance with the laws of the United States. (Sept. 15, 1922.)