Safe Harbour / Harbor Master Authority?

Please help to clarify the current laws and policy regarding “Safe Harbour” for vessels, who is the granting authority, under what conditions and precedents, who is responsible for assisting the vessel and in what situations, and what is the role played by a Harbor Master in this process and what is the current authority position of a Harbour Master? Is this the same internationally based on some policy, does it differ between countries, and what is the laws and policy for the US and elsewhere?

[B]Blue, that is a totally loaded question. Why don’t you introduce yourself better and I will help explain some of your topics.[/B]