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If the authorities decide to conduct a criminal investigation, the Master and the officers and/or engineers involved may have the right to remain silent and the right to seek advice from lawyers before responding to any questions from the authorities. However, the Master should make it clear to the authorities that he/she will co-operate fully with their investigations, but requires a lawyer to be in attendance during any enquiries or interviews.

The Master should not direct the crew to lie, destroy, tamper with or hide evidence.

If the Master does so, he/she may be charged with obstruction of justice. If the Master or any other person involved on board is uncertain about their rights and responsibilities in a criminal investigation advice should be obtained from the local correspondents or a local law office.