Investigations

The Bahamas Maritime Authority is responsible for investigating incidents involving Bahamas-registered ships worldwide, and other ships in Bahamian waters. From loss of life by natural or other causes, serious injury to crew and passengers, total loss of the vessel, to material damage affecting the vessel's seaworthiness or machinery or hull damage affecting the vessel's efficiency, Masters and Owners are required by law to report the incident to the Authority as soon as possible.

Our aim in investigating marine accidents is to prevent accidents from occurring in the future, to improve safety at sea and to protect the marine environment. Our objective is to establish the facts, determine the cause of the casualty and make recommendations to prevent a recurrence. Marine Safety Investigations are not carried out with the intention of  apportioning blame or liability. In fact, investigation reports and documents are not permitted to be used as evidence in the event of any subsequent legal proceedings except where the Bahamas government determines such use is in the public interest in the administration of justice. The  mandatory IMO Casualty Investigation Code (Resolution MSC.255(84)) came into force on 1 January 2010 and builds on the best practice in marine casualty and marine incident investigations previously adopted by IMO Resolution A.849(20). The code seeks, inter alia, to promote co-operation and a common approach to marine casualties and marine safety investigations between States. The Bahamas Maritime Authority applies the mandatory standards and recommended practices in full in its conduct of maritime safety investigations.

Reporting Requirements

The types of incident, accident or casualty whch are required to be reported are set out in BMA Information Bulletin No: 4

The Bahamas Maritime Authority

When to report:
IMMEDIATELY as per Bulletin No: 4

How to Report:
On form CRF-1 as per Bulletin No: 4

How to Report Stowaways:
On Form SIR as per Bulletin No: 4

How to Report Smuggled Migrants
On Form SMR as per Bulletin No: 4

When completting forms SIR or SMR, please complete form
List of Stowaways or Migrants