#When a casualty occurs#

The Master must notify the owners and the Club of a casualty by telephone. In case of reporting the casualty via an email the Master should always follow up the email with a telephone call.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name of the vessel.
  • Date of casualty.
  • Type of casualty.
  • Position/place/port.
  • Brief description of the damage
  • Where and when survey can be arranged.
  • Name and particulars of owner’s local agents in the port where survey can be arranged.


Logbooks provide a formal record of circumstances at the time of any incident. It is important therefore to enter only information relevant to factual events in a logbook. If a mistaken entry is made – draw a single line through the faulty passage. Never erase or use correcting fluid.

#Steps to be taken by a Master#

When having problems which may concern the vessel’s P&I insurance, then in the first instance contact the vessel’s owners or agents. If the master is unable to contact the owner, they should contact the Club directly or the nearest general correspondent.

Casualties:  If the vessel is held responsible in any way, it is important to remember that documents presented on behalf of the claimant should not be signed by the Master, unless it is added in writing that the signature is an acknowledgement of receipt only.
Cargo damage: It is necessary to supervise the operations and to hold the stevedores liable in writing in case of damage or rough handling. Sometimes it is even justified to stop the work temporarily.
Inspections on board by counter parties: the owners or the Club’s correspondent should be contacted.

Moreover, concerning the Bill of Lading Liability: Remarks in the bill of lading must be specific: (a) General phrases are of limited value; (b) The intended port of arrival has to be correctly stated.

#Transport Liability#

Stowing: The master of a vessel is responsible of securing and lashing of containers in accordance with that recommended in the manual and to make regular checks, especially after periods of heavy weather.

Tallying: If the owners have not decided to the contrary then you should arrange for tallying at loading and discharge. The counting must be carefully carried out however, otherwise the tally is of little or no value.

In addition, the brochure highlights that in case of a personal injury, the master has to provide evidence of the incident, as such:

  1. Details of the circumstances surrounding the accident;
  2. The conditions at the time of the accident;
  3. Names of witnesses;
  4. Whether the master thinks that the injured person contributed to the accident or if there was any obvious negligence from any other party involved;
  5. A drawing or photo of the area where the accident occurred.

#Oil spill#

If an oil spill occurs the local port authorities as well as the relevant coastguard should be notified immediately. In case of an oil spill in US waters, it is of the utmost importance that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) National Response Center (NRC) in Washington, is notified immediately.

Thus, the master has to immediately inform:

  1. The qualified individual (QI) according to the vessel’s response plan (VRP);
  2. Their local agent;
  3. The vessel owner/operator;
  4. Their local P&I correspondent.

Other incidents that the Master is responsible for, are:


  1. Ensure the safety of the crews and vessels involved
  2. Notification
  3. Record observations


  1. Engaging a salvor
  2. Notification
  3. The contract
  4. Working with the salvor


  1. Grounding
  2. Stabilise the vessel’s position
  3. Notification
  4. Determine how the vessel is resting on the seabed

To explore more, you may click on the PDF herebelow