The TSB gathers transportation occurrence data during the course of its investigations to analyze safety deficiencies and identify risks in the Canadian marine transportation system. The statistics presented reflect the TSB Marine Safety Information System (MARSIS) database at 19 February 2020.

Key points

  • The number of “shipping accidents” decreased to 207 from the last year’s 232.
  • However, with 60 accidents reported, 2019 saw a slight increase in “accidents aboard ship” from the 57 reported in 2018.
  • 17 marine fatalities were reported, which is down from the 22 fatalities reported in 2018, but still above the annual average of 15.2 in the 2009–2018 time period.
  • 12 of the 17 marine fatalities in 2019 were fishing-related; The data therefore indicates that more needs to be done to improve safety in the commercial fishing industry, which has been on the TSB’s Watchlist since its inception in 2010.

Type of accident

  • The most frequent types of shipping accidents in 2019 were collision (35%), grounding (25%), and fire/explosion (15%).
  • The total number of collisions (72) was 9% less than the 10-year (2009–2018) average of 79, the number of groundings (51) was 28% below the 10-year average of 71, and the number of fire/explosion accidents (32) was 18% below the 10-year average of 39.

Vessel type

  • 59 fishing vessels were involved in shipping accidents, down from 74 in 2018, and down from the 2009–2018 average of 92.
  • Fishing vessels represented slightly over one-quarter (26%) of all vessels involved in shipping accidents.

Marine incidents

  • In 2019, 947 marine incidents were reported to the TSB, comparable to the total of 931 in 2018, and above the annual 10-year (2009–2018) average of 573.
  • Incidents in the Atlantic region represented 44% of all marine incidents, followed by 30% in the Central region, and 25% in the Pacific region. The remaining 2% of reported incidents occurred in foreign waters.
  • The majority (84%) of reportable incidents involved the total failure of any machinery or technical system
  • The types of vessel most often involved in total failure of any machinery or technical systems incidents in 2019 were fishing vessels (54%) and solid-cargo vessels (23%).