Does the obligation in the last answer apply to a ship that is not “at sea”?

No, it only applies to a ship at sea which is in a position to be able to provide assistance. A ship in port is under no obligation to render assistance, but may do so, since it may in some circumstances be able to render assistance.

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Where a distress signal has been received, in what circumstances is the master of a ship at sea not bound to proceed to assist?

What are a shipmaster’s statutory obligations on receiving a distress alert?