requirements for marine accidents and casualties differ depending upon whether
the vessel was commercial or recreational. The general requirements for
accident reporting are discussed below but you’ll want to contact the U. S.
Coast Guard (USCG) for specific requirements to ensure you satisfy all the
The Importance of
Maritime Accident Reporting
- compiles accident
- conducts investigations;
- reviews case studies to provide insight into the
causes of marine accidents.
Armed with marine
accident reporting data and statistics, they are able to take action to reduce
the risk of vessel casualties.
The USCG uses the knowledge they
- supply the public
- modify policies; and
- create safety
protocols that can help everyone on the water.
requirements for marine casualty and accident reporting for commercial vessels
are covered in 46 CFR 4.01 – 4.06.05-1. As soon as the immediate safety
concerns have been addressed, "the owner, agent, master, operator, or
charge, shall must notify the nearest
Marine Safety Office, Marine Inspection Office, or Coast Guard Group Office" if there is a marine casualty involving
any of the following:
- an unintentional
grounding or strike with a bridge;
- an intentional
causes a hazard to the vessel or the environment;
- loss of
steering or propulsion, that results in reduced maneuverability of the
- an occurrence that
affects the seaworthiness of the vessel, e.g., fire, flood, failed bilge
pump systems, etc.;
- loss of life;
- injury that needed
medical attention beyond first aid; or
- over $25,000 in
days, the accident can be reported using Form CG_2692, Report of Maritime
Casualty. If the accident is defined as serious, as per 46 CFR 4.03,
the accident must be reported using form CG_2692b, Report of Required
Drug and Alcohol Testing Following a Serious Maritime Incident.
boating accidents should be reporting using Form CG_3865, Recreational
Boating Accident Report. The USCG estimates that it takes roughly 30
minutes to complete the form.
The types of information you’re
required to give on the report include:
- the number of
fatalities or injuries;
- approximate amount
of property damage;
- an accident summary
location, the number of people involved, and a description of what
- the vessel
- safety check
- onboard provisions;
- water conditions;
factors to the accident (alcohol,
- the injured
person’s name, contact info, and injury details; and
- your name and
If there is
an injury, disappearance, or death in a maritime incident, it must be reported
to the USCG within 48 hours. If there is only property damage, you have ten
days to submit a report.
Downloads for Maritime
You can download the vessel accident reporting forms on the
USCG website using the links provided.
Another helpful download you might find useful is Marine
Education Textbooks’ guidebook: Deck
Study Recommendations, the guidebook provides helpful information about:
- credentials and endorsements;
- watchkeeping codes; and
- National Maritime Center contact information.
Find more articles of interest to vessel owners on the Marine Education Textbooks