Unit 18. Marine Incident Investigation


An accident is described as “an unplanned, uncontrolled event which has led to or could have led to injury to people, damage to plant, machinery or the environment and/or some other loss.” It is often stated that human error is the cause of about 80 per cent of accidents.

In this module we consider this statement and introduce a basic understanding of what is meant by human error, human factors and the human element. We show that all accidents, even those attributed to “acts of God”, have some human element in the causal chain. We introduce investigation and analysis techniques that will help to explain and uncover the human element’s role in the causes of accidents at sea.

The aim of marine accident and incident investigations is to prevent recurrence of similar events. Open, systematic and fair investigations, which are not aimed at apportioning liability or blame, have proved effective in the other industries and transportation modes. This module aims to introduce students to a system of investigation, which may help to prevent future accidents.

Marine accidents can range from relatively trivial bumps and scrapes to the loss of a large vessel with consequent loss of life. While the events in an accident and the subsequent emergency are still unfolding, the thoughts and actions of the people involved are concentrated solely on the safety of the ship and its crew and the protection of the marine environment. Once the immediate emergency has been dealt with it is human nature to start asking questions about how and why the accident happened and, most importantly, what should be done to stop it happening again.

Please note.
By choosing to buy this Unit you are not entering into the full educational programme but you can complete an assignment for this Unit and receive an IIMS Certificate on successful assessment. Further details of this will be sent to you when you make your purchase. If you decide to take the full Educational Course at a later date you may be able to use your successful pass to make up part of your qualification.  Please be reminded that this cost covers one download of a .pdf document, there is NO hard copy. There is no refund available. Please call the Education Team direct if you have any queries: 023 92 313012 or 023 92 313015

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