New NVIC clarifies casualty reporting procedures

The following is text from a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(WASHINGTON) — Historically, marine industry stakeholders have complied with the marine casualty reporting laws and regulations in references (a) and (b) and the Coast Guard has relied on reference (c) to interpret, carry out, and enforce those marine casualty reporting laws and regulations. Due to the complexity of the subject and inconsistent enforcement, the Coast Guard recognizes that additional guidance to clarify these requirements would benefit both Coast Guard field commanders and the marine industry. Such clarification furthers the Coast Guard’s goal of providing consistent national guidance regarding marine casualty reporting to all stakeholders.

Information and data collected during marine casualty investigations are used by a wide audience for many purposes, including the enforcement of laws, the enhancement of prevention activities (e.g., safety alerts and recommendations), the development of standards, and the support of safety studies. Given this importance, it is critical that casualty information be properly captured and documented. In addition, minor incidents may also provide valuable leading indicator and trend analysis information critical for an effective prevention program.

This circular provides additional guidance to standardize the collection and reporting of marine casualty data by clarifying existing regulations, policies, and procedures. Specifically, enclosure (1) assists responsible parties with the evaluation of occurrences that would constitute a reportable marine casualty or hazardous condition and subsequently require action by both the Coast Guard and maritime industry stakeholders. The Coast Guard should be notified of a hazardous condition under 33 CFR 160.216 for certain types of incidents that do not reach the threshold of a reportable marine casualty.

Click here to view the complete NVIC.

By Professional Mariner Staff