The Bahamas Maritime Authority Guidance and Instructions for Bahamian ships, regarding the incident reporting and investigations, whose purpose is to provide lessons learned for the future, as an unreported incident potentially decreases the possibility of improving safety.
Section 240A of the Merchant Shipping Act requires the owner or master of a Bahamian ship to report any incident in which the ship “has sustained or caused any accident occasioning loss of life or any serious injury to any person or has received any material damage affecting her seaworthiness or her efficiency either in her hull or in any part of her machinery”.
Operators must report serious marine casualties which include the following:
- Navigational: collision, grounding, loss of control, COLREGS violations.
- Hull, machinery or equipment: hull damage or failure, machinery or equipment damage or failure, fire or explosion.
- Stability: listing, flooding, foundering, capsize.
- Human element: loss of life, serious injuries2, missing persons, piracy, armed robbery, security incidents, evacuation or abandonment.
- Any damage, failure or injury sustained to equipment or person(s) during the operation of any Life Saving Appliance (LSA).
- Any time evasive actions are required beyond normal manoeuvres to avoid a collision.
Supplementing to the initial report, a Casualty Report Form (CRF1)5 is used for reporting. The CRF 1 must be submitted as soon as possible by email or fax to the Bahamas Maritime Investigations Department.
Furthermore, additional reports include the following:
- Reporting of Stowaways and Smuggled Migrants: Stowaway(s) must be reported by the Master to the Bahamas Maritime Investigations Department using Form: SIR6.
- Reporting of Occupational Health Incidents: In accordance with the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention Regulation A4.3 occupational accidents, injuries and diseases must be reported and investigated. All accidents to person(s) resulting in serious injury must be reported to the BMA within 4 hours in accordance with Section 4 above. The BMA retains the right to carry out an investigation of such incidents.
- Reporting Crimes or alleged criminal activity including drugs or psychotropic substances: Reports of crimes or alleged criminal acts, except for acts of piracy or armed robbery against a ship, are to be reported using the general email address email@example.com.
- Reporting notifiable diseases other than occupational diseases: The Bahamas Health Rules require that the outbreak of certain diseases must be notified to the BMA. Notifications in free-form text may be made by email. Operators should be guided by the list of Notifiable Infectious Diseases.
- Returns of births and deaths: To follow up an initial report of a birth or death on board a Bahamian ship, a “Return of Birth” (RBD2) or “Return of Death” (RBD1) form must be submitted as soon as possible by email or fax to the Bahamas Maritime Investigations Department.
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