Guidance note - Notification and reporting of marine casualties and incidents

  • Published: 15/01/2018

Incidents and accidents related to the operation of vessels must be notified and reported to the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) or other relevant authority.

Notification

Notification means an oral report made without undue delay.

  • If a vessel used for commercial purposes is involved in an accident, the owner or master is responsible for giving notification.
  • If the vessel is in need of assistance or there is a risk of oil spill, notification must be given to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) or a Norwegian coastal radio station. The JRCC will forward the notification to the relevant authorities (the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the NMA, the police and the Accident Investigation Board Norway).
  • If there is no need for assistance or risk of oil spill, notification must be given to the NMA’s emergency team on telephone number +47 52 74 50 00 (available 24/7). The NMA will forward the notification to the relevant authorities (the police, the Accident Investigation Board Norway and the Norwegian Coastal Administration).
  • In case of a recreational craft accident, local police can be notified directly.
  • In case of oil spill or risk of oil spill beyond Norwegian territorial waters, high priority notification must be made to the nearest coastal State.

Report

Report means a written report made on the appropriate form, NMA form KS-0197 Maritime casualty reporting - Ship and personnel. The form is available in the NMA's Forms Services: https://www.sdir.no/en/forms-directory/

For vessels used for commercial purposes, the master or company must submit a written report of all marine and occupational accidents to the NMA within 72 hours, regardless of whether a notification has been made or not.

Near miss reporting

The NMA requests the industry to report near misses. Such information is necessary to determine common measures in order to improve safety on board.

Obligation to secure evidence

The Accident Investigation Board Norway is authorised to investigate certain marine accidents (casualties involving vessels and occupational accidents), whereas the NMA conducts supervision to ensure continued compliance with the regulations following an accident.

To support the investigation, anyone who is involved in a marine casualty should collect and secure any evidence that might be relevant to the authorities.

The police is responsible for investigating any criminal allegations.

The purpose of the information

Detailed knowledge of accidents and what causes them is important to improve safety at sea.

The NMA uses accident statistics and reports:

  • to assess the need to implement measures and follow up the vessel, the company and the shipping industry in general;
  • to prepare key statistics;
  • as basis for experience transfer;
  • to identify special focus areas;
  • to carry out risk assessments and analyses;
  • to carry out socioeconomic analyses.

Additionally, the NMA provides data to a number of national and international parties.

Marine occurrences to be reported

TypeDescription

Very serious marine casualty

  • loss of vessel
  • loss of life
  • severe damage to the environment
  • or a passenger ship was in imminent danger of the above.

Marine casualty

  • significant injury.

Significant injury is defined as an injury resulting in loss of normal ability to work for more than 72 hours if the loss of ability is noticeable within seven days of the accident.

The vessel:

  • is lost or assumed to be lost;
  • is abandoned;
  • is significantly damaged;
    A vessel is considered significantly damaged if the damage affects the structural integrity, performance or operation of the vessel and this necessitates a major repair or replacement of one or more important parts, or if the damage leads to technical loss of vessel.
  • has grounded or been involved in a collision or any other occurence that incapacitates the vessel.

Serious casualty with a vessel

An accident involving fire, explosion, collision, contact, heavy weather damage, ice damage, hull cracking, or suspected hull defect, etc., resulting in:

  • immobilisation of main engines, extensive accommodation damage, severe structural damage, such as penetration of the hull under water, etc., rendering the ship unfit to proceed;
  • pollution; or
  • a breakdown that necessitates towage or shore assistance.
TypeDescription

Other vessel accidents

Groundings or collisions not regarded as serious casualties, marine casualties or very serious casualties.

Grounding:

  • any accidental contact between vessel and ground, regardless of extent of damage.

Collision:

  • any collision between vessels, regardless of extent of damage;

Contact:

  • any contact with fixed objects, quays and installations where either vessel or object is damaged to an extent which interrupts normal operation.

Pollution or risk of pollution

  • discharge or probable discharge above the permitted level pursuant to MARPOL 73/78 of oil or noxious liquid substances for whatever reason;
  • loss/discharge or probable loss/discharge of dangerous or harmful substances in packaged form, including substances in portable tanks or tank vehicles(,) and (in cases?) where vehicles, freight containers or other cargo transport units contain packaged goods;
  • discharge or probable discharge of dangerous chemicals or dangerous liquefied gases.
TypeDescription

Occupational accident

An accident where a person working on board has been injured while working.

Injuries to be reported are:

  • loss of normal ability to work for more than 72 hours if the loss of ability is noticeable within seven days of the accident; or
  • of a serious nature.
    Be aware that an injury might be more serious than deemed at first assessment. If the injury is not previously reported, it must be reported to the NMA as soon as possible.

The following list may be helpful when determining whether an injury should be reported:

  • head injuries/concussions leading to loss of consciousness or other serious consequences;
  • fractures (except single fractures on fingers or toes);
  • internal injuries (damage to internal organs);
  • loss of limb;
  • poisoning;
  • loss of consciousness due to work-related factors (such as lack of oxygen);
  • burns, frost injuries or chemical burns (all third-degree burns, second-degree burns on face, limbs and genitals, second-degree burns on 5% or more of skin surface);
  • hypothermia;
  • injuries that hospitalise the injured person.

Reporting of work-related injury and illness

The employer shall report to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) if an employee suffers an injury or illness that may entitle the employee to workers' compensation coverage.
All such injuries must be reported to NAV within one year of the (occupational) accident.

This guidance note applies during normal operation of vessels covered by the Regulations of 27 June 2008 No. 744 on the obligation to notify and report marine accidents and other incidents at sea.

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