Mission Statement:

To identify, investigate and ultimately prevent marine casualties and marine incidents so as to improve safety and protect the marine environment.


It is the responsibility of the Investigations Department to investigate marine casualties involving Bahamas registered vessels worldwide and vessels of any flag, at the time of the event which occurs within Bahamian territorial waters. The Investigations Department will investigate all very serious marine casualties as required by the Code of International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (MSC.255(84)). It is not the purpose of a marine investigation to determine liability nor, except so far as is necessary to achieve its objective, to apportion blame.

The Investigations Department is responsible for:

  • Carrying out investigations to determine the cause of marine casualties and marine incidents
  • Publishing marine safety investigation reports that include recommendations and lessons learned to improve safety
  • Determining where possible what changes in the present Regulations might be desirable
  • Improving national and international co-operation in marine safety investigations

Accurate and timely reporting by owners, managers and masters remains vital to ensure the appropriate response can be mounted by the Investigations team. The success of any investigation rests on the cooperation and information provided by all parties involved and should be reported to the Investigations Department without hesitation and in accordance with the Bahamas Merchant Shipping Act.


Guiding Principle:

The Bahamas has a responsibility to the international community, to our Owners and the International Maritime Organisation to conduct independent and objective marine safety investigations that remain free from prejudice.


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