Under Bailiwick Law there is a requirement to examine and investigate all types of marine accidents to or on-board Guernsey vessels worldwide. On this page you will find out how accidents are classified and how to deal with them after the event. The main objective of investigating an accident is to work out its circumstances and causes - but not to find liability.
What is an accident?
An accident is an undesired event that results in personal injury, damage or loss. It is the duty of the vessel's master to examine any accident relating to his/her vessel. There are three types of accidents to be aware of:
1. Major Injury - A major injury includes fracture to, or loss of a limb; loss of sight; or any other injury requiring resuscitation or leading to hypothermia or admittance to a hospital or other medical facility.
2. Serious Injury - A serious injury is an injury, other than a major injury, when the injured person is incapacitated for more than three consecutive days.
3. Hazardous Incident - A hazardous incident is when an accident nearly occurs in connection with the operation of a vessel. In other words, what is often known as a 'near miss'.
How do I report an accident?
It is important that all types of accidents are reported, please read the following points before reporting an accident:
- Accidents, including major injuries, must be reported to the Chief Inspector or Marine Accidents as soon as possible.
- Serious injuries must be investigated by the vessel's master or owner and the findings should be passed onto the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents within 14 days.
- Hazardous incidents don't have to be reported but we encourage you to report them nonetheless.
- All accidents can be reported via the Harbour Office on +44 (0) 1481 720229 or outside of office hours on +44 (0) 1481 720672.
- In some cases the vessel's masters investigation will be enough. However, the Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents may wish to conduct an administrative enquiry to seek further information.
What will inspectors investigate?
After you have reported the accident the inspectors will begin to collect evidence and a decision will be made as to whether a full investigation will be needed. Every effort is made to examine a wide range of accidents each year. All investigations aim to answer the following four questions:
1. What happened?
2. How did it happen?
3. Why did it happen?
4. What can be done to prevent it happening again?
Where can I found out more information?
For more information on marine accidents you can visit the Guernsey Harbours website. Alternatively if you still have more questions you can contact the Chief Inspector or Marine Accidents at the address below:
Chief Inspector of Marine AccidentsC/O Guernsey Harbours, PO Box 631, St Julians Emplacement, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 3DL, Channel Islands
Tel: +44 1481 720229 Fax: +44 1481 714177