Investigations

Under the Bahamas Merchant Shipping Act 1976, section 240A, the Bahamas Maritime Authority is responsible for investigating all incidents involving Bahamas-registered ships worldwide, and other ships in The Commonwealth of the Bahamas' territorial 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. It is not to apportion blame or liability. In fact, reports and documents may not be used as evidence in the event of any subsequent criminal proceedings. If a criminal investigation proves necessary, the entire incident should be investigated by a body independent of the original investigating authority.

The new IMO Casualty Investigation Code came into force on 1 January 2010 and incorporates and builds on the best practice in marine casualty and marine incident investigations adopted by IMO Resolution A.849(20). The code seeks to promote co-operation and a common approach to marine casualties and marine investigations between States.

Who to report to:
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