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APPENDIX C.

PUBLIC LAWS OF RHODE ISLAND.

CHAPTER 1318.

AN ACT IN AMENDMENT OF AND IN ADDITION TO CHAPTER 100 OF THE

PUBLIC STATUTES, ENTITLED · OF THE PROTECTION OF NAVIGATION.”

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Whenever a wrecked, sunken, or abandoned vessel, or any unlawful or unauthorized structure or thing is deposited or suffered to be or remain in the tide waters of this State, and in the judgment of the board of harbor commissioners is or is liable to cause or become an obstruction to the safe and convenient use of such waters for navigation and other lawful purposes, it shall be the duty of said board, and said board shall have power to remove such obstruction, or cause the same to be removed, in accordance with the provisions of this act.

SEC. 2. If any person resident or being in the United States is known to said board as the owner of such vessel, or any interest therein, or as having or exercising any control of the same as master, agent, insurer, or otherwise, or, in case of any other unlawful or unauthorized obstruction, as having alone or with others built, deposited, or caused the same, or as owning, maintaining, or using the same in whole or in part, said board shall give notice in writing to such owner or other person to remove such vessel or other obstruction at or within a time specified in the notice. It shall be deemed a sufficient notice to all such owners and other persons if served upon any one or more of them by said board, or by its order, by delivering the same in hand or by leaving it at the usual place of business, residence, or abode, or by duly mailing it to the postoffice address of the owner or other person on whom such notice is to be served. SEC. 3. If such vessel or other obstruction is not removed at or within the time specified in such notice, and in a manner and to a place satisfactory to said board, or if such owner or other person is known to said board upon whom such notice can be served, said board may proceed to remove such vessel or other obstruction, or to complete the removal thereof, or to cause the same to be done in such manner and to such place as said board shall deem best, and the necessary cost and expense of such removal, if not paid by some owner or other person liable therefor, shall, when certified by said board and approved by the governor, be paid out of the treasury of the State.

SEC. 4. The owner of any vessel, or of an interest in any vessel, willfully or maliciously wrecked, sunken, or abandoned as aforesaid, and removed as hereinbefore provided, whether owning at the time such vessel tirst became an obstruction, or at any subsequent time before such removal is completed, and all persons having or exercising any control over such vessel or any part thereof, and, in the case of any other obstruction so removed, the person or persons originally building, depositing, or causing the same, or at the time of such removal, or at any time prior thereto, owning, maintaining, or using the same in whole or in part, shall be liable to pay the cost and expenses of such removal, or to repay the same when paid out of the treasury as aforesaid ; and the same may be recovered in an action of contract brought by said board in the name of the State against such owners or other persons, or against any one or more of them. The attorney-general shall conduct and commence such suits. All moneys so repaid or recovered shall be paid into the treasury of the State. Any person who pays on a judgment or otherwise more than his proportional part of the costs and expenses aforesaid, shall have a claim for contribution against all other parties liable therefor according to their respective interests.

SEC. 5. If the cost and expenses of removing a vessel or other obstruction as aforesaid are not paid or repaid by some owner or other person liable therefor within ten days after such removal is completed, said board of harbor commis. siopers may sell such vessel or other obstruction, or the materials and appurtenances thereof, at public or private sale, and the net proceeds of such sale shall be paid into the treasury of the State and deducted from the amount to be repaid or recovered as provided in the preceding section.

SEC. 6. No insurer of a vessel who has paid the loss thereon shall, by reason of such insurance, be held liable to remove such vessel, or to pay the cost and expenses of such removal, under the provisions of this act, unless such insurer has exercised some act of ownership or control over such vessel or some part or appurtenances thereof, or received the proceeds of the sale thereof.

SEC. 7. A commissioner of wrecks and shipwrecked goods shall not be liable to the provisions of this act by reason of anything done by him in discharge of his office as such commissioner, but he shall, upon notice and request by said board of harbor commissioners, retain and apply so much of the property in his possession appertaining to a wrecked vessel, or of the proceeds thereof, as may be necessary to provide for the removal of such vessel so that the same shall not be an obstruction in tide waters.

SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of commissioners of wrecks and shipwrecked goods, and of harbor masters, to give immediate notice to the board of harbor commissioners of all shipwrecks occurring in tide waters of their respective towns and harbors and of any obstructions existing therein.

SEC. 9. There shall be allowed and paid out of the treasury annually a sum not exceeding three thousand dollars, to be expended as may be necessary in carrying out the provisions of this act.

Sec. 10. It shall be the duty of said board of harbor commissioners to make application in behalf of the state for the reimbursement of any sums expended under this act, which in the opinion of said board might properly be paid by the United States.

SEC. 11. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

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