Marine Incidents! How and when to report them.

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So often owners, operators and/or crew members ask, “is this a marine incident and do I have to report it?”

How do you identify if it’s a marine incident?

Marine incidents are identified by relevant Australian laws and include a number of different types of incidents and may include the following:

  • Death of, or injury to, a person associated with the operation or navigation of a vessel
  • The loss or presumed loss of a vessel
  • Collision of a vessel with another vessel
  • Collision by a vessel with an object
  • The grounding, sinking, flooding or capsizing of a vessel
  • Fire on board a vessel
  • Loss of stability of a vessel that affects the safety of the vessel
  • The structural failure of a vessel
  • A close quarters situation
  • A dangerous occurrence, which is an occurrence that could have caused the death of, or serious personal injury to, any person on the vessel

They can also include:

  • An event that results in, or could have resulted in:
    • the death of, or injury to, a person on board a vessel
    • the loss of a person from a vessel
    • a vessel becoming disabled and requiring assistance
  • The fouling or damaging by a vessel of:
    • any pipeline or submarine cable
    • any aid to navigation
  • Other incidents that are prescribed by the regulations include but are not limited to:
    • failure in operation of a component of material handling equipment, whether or not a person is injured because of the failure
    • loss of cargo of a vessel
    • significant damage to a vessel
    • a seafarer is injured or contracts an illness that incapacitates them from the performance of their duty
  • Any serious danger to navigation on or near the course of the vessel.

How to report a marine incident

There are 2 steps in reporting incidents which are:

  1. As soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware of the incident you must either:
  • Complete an incident alert form 18 and submit it to AMSA online. This is for Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) only; or
  • Download form 19 and email the completed form to
  • Note that for Regulated Australian Vessels must submit an incident alert within 4 hours.

Get this form at…

  1. Within 72 hours after becoming aware of the incident you must:
  • Complete the incident report form 19 and submit it to AMSA online; or
  • Download form 19 and email the completed form to

Get this form by at…

What are your reporting obligations?

Reporting obligations are imposed by Australian laws. Other mandatory reporting requirements include requirements to report dangers to navigation and certain incidents involving people on board.

The owner or Master of a DCV must report marine incidents to AMSA. This is detailed in Sections 88 and 89 of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012, Schedule 1 (National Law)

Shorlink’s Recommendation

We can not recommend strongly enough that you report applicable marine incidents inline with the above requirements and, do it on time! If you’re not sure about if it’s an incident or whether you should report it then contact us for advice.


 While it may seem like a waste of time you must record the details of the incident in your log book as this not only a legal requirement but ensures you have accurate information when filling in incident reports. Don’t try to remember the facts a day or so later, make sure you use your log book.

Need a log book? – click here to purchase with free postage direct from Shorlink!