UK MAIB issues amended guidance to MGN 564 on marine incident reporting

The MAIB investigates marine casualties involving UK vessels worldwide and vessels of any flag in UK territorial waters with the aim of preventing further avoidable accidents from recurring in the future. The UK MAIB has published amended guidance on marine incident reporting – what who and when an incident should be notified – with modifications made to MGN 564.

Who must report
The master/skipper, or senior surviving officer of a UK ship must notify the MAIB of any marine casualty or marine incident.

The master/skipper of any ship must notify the MAIB of any marine casualty or marine incident if:
– the ship is within UK waters and carrying passengers to / from the UK, or
– the marine casualty or marine incident occurs within the jurisdiction of a UK harbour master.

The ship’s owner must notify the MAIB of any marine casualty or marine incident, unless s/he is satisfied that the master/skipper or senior surviving officer has made the report.

In addition to the above, the following must notify the MAIB of any marine casualty or marine incident, if it occurs in their area of responsibility:
– Harbour authorities, for occurrences in or adjacent to their harbour area;
– The person, authority or body having responsibility for an inland waterway;
– An official of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for all occurrences in UK waters.

The duty to notify does not apply to:
– Recreational craft hired on a bareboat basis, or
– Commercial craft or boats <8m length overall that are operating in a harbour or on an inland waterway, which are not carrying passengers, unless the marine casualty involves an explosion, fire, or capsize of a power driven vessel, or results in death, serious injury or severe pollution.

There is no requirement for the master/skipper or owner of a pleasure vessel to notify the MAIB of a marine casualty or marine incident, unless it is being operated for temporary commercial use under the Intended Pleasure Vessels (IPV) Code.

However, notifications relating to pleasure vessels (not operating commercially) are welcomed. All notifications are treated confidentially and a reporter’s identity will not be released.

What to report
It is a legal requirement that any marine casualty or marine incident is notified to the MAIB. Any notification made to the MAIB does not remove any obligation to notify other organisations.

A marine casualty is an event or sequence of events that occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, and resulted in:
– The death of, or serious injury to a person;
– The loss of a person from a ship;
– The loss, presumed loss or abandonment of a ship;
– Material damage to a ship;
– The ship being unfit to proceed, or requires flag state approval or a condition of class before it may proceed;
– At sea, a breakdown of the ship, requiring towage;
– The stranding or disabling of a ship, or the involvement of a ship in a collision;
– Material damage⁵ to marine infrastructure external of a ship that could seriously endanger the safety of the ship, another ship or any individual;
– Pollution, caused by damage to a ship or ships.

A marine casualty or marine incident does not include a deliberate act or omission that is intended to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual (e.g. assault, suicide or homicide) or the environment.

A marine incident means an event, or sequence of events, which occurred directly in connection with the operation of a ship, that do not meet the criteria to be classified as a marine casualty but that endangered or, if not corrected would endanger, the safety of the ship, its occupants or any other person or the environment.

Examples of marine incidents include:
– Close-quarters situations where urgent action was required to avoid collision;
– Any event that had the potential to result in a serious injury;
– A fire that did not result in material damage;
– An unintended temporary grounding on soft mud, where there was no risk of stranding or material damage;
– A person overboard who was recovered without serious injury;
– Snagging of fishing gear resulting in a dangerous heel.

What not to report
There is no requirement to report:
– Defects to equipment and vessel detentions, unless they are related to a marine casualty or marine incident;
– Injuries to passengers that did not result from activities connected with the operation of the vessel. For example: a passenger suffering a fall on board a ship, where the ship’s movement, design, or acts or omissions by crew were not contributing factors;
– Damage or injuries occurring ashore, including the quayside, which do not involve the ship’s equipment.

When to report
All marine casualties and marine incidents must be notified to the MAIB as soon as practicable by the quickest means available.

How to report
Call the MAIB’s 24 hour accident reporting line: +44 (0) 23 8023 2527.
Alternatively, information can also be submitted using the MAIB’s Accident Report Form (ARF), which is available on the Branch’s website. On the home page, click ‘Reporting an Accident’, then the ‘Accident Report Form’ link.

Once completed, the form may be submitted electronically, by clicking on the button on the form, or printed and sent by post to: MAIB, 1st Floor Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton SO15 1GH

It is an offence under The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012, Regulation 19, not to report a marine casualty or marine incident or provide the information required without reasonable cause.

Read the amended MGN 564: UK-MAIB-Marine-Casualty-and-Marine-Incident-Reporting

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