Marine Safety Unit Portland
US Coast Guard
6767 N. Basin Ave.
Portland, OR 97217-3992
Tel: (503) 240-9310
A casualty on a vessel (including a FOREIGN vessel) must be reported if it occurs upon the navigable waters of the U.S., it's territories or possessions; or whenever an accident involves a U.S. vessel wherever the accident may occur (46 CFR 4.05); and involves one of the following:
An unintended grounding, or an unintended strike of (allision with) a bridge; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(1))
An intended grounding, or an intended strike of a bridge, that creates a hazard to navigation, the environment, or the safety of a vessel, or that meets any criterion of the following paragraphs; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(2))
A LOSS OF MAIN PROPULSION, PRIMARY STEERING, or any associated component or control system that reduces the maneuverability of the vessel; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(3))
AN OCCURRENCE MATERIALLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE VESSEL'S SEAWORTHINESS or fitness for service or route, including but not limited to fire, flooding, or failure of or damage to fixed fire-extinguishing systems, life-saving equipment, auxiliary power-generating equipment, or bilge-pumping systems; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(4))
A LOSS OF LIFE; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(5))
AN INJURY THAT REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT (treatment beyond first aid) and, if the person is engaged or employed on board a vessel in commercial service, that renders the individual unfit to perform his or her routine duties; (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(6))
AN OCCURRENCE CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGE in excess of $25,000, this damage including the cost of labor and material to restore the property to its condition before the occurrence, but not including the cost of salvage, cleaning, gas-freeing, drydocking, or demurrage. (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(7))
Whenever a marine casualty meets one or more of the criteria above, it must be reported to the Coast Guard on a "Report of Marine Accident, Injury or Death" (CG-2692) Form.
CLARIFICATION OF REPORTING CRITERIA
The following is provided to clarify some of the marine casualty reporting criteria contained in 46 CFR 4. This information comes from the Industry Task Force on Pacific Rim Consistency "Guidelines for Consistent Marine Casualty Reporting". These guidelines were adopted by all Pacific Rim Coast Guard Districts. Recognizing the importance of marine casualty data and the negative impact of non-reporting, this industry effort was driven by the goal to increase the reporting of relevant reportable casualty events from all industry segments, particularly FOREIGN vessels, and to decrease the reporting of non-reportable ones:
"A LOSS OF MAIN PROPULSION, PRIMARY STEERING" (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(3)) Requires the reporting of a loss or "unscheduled failure" of a system and not the intentional reduction of capacity to perform maintenance. The underlying issue is could this casualty, had it occurred while making a port call or in close quarters situations, caused a grounding, collision or even a "near miss." Vessel control automation system failure without loss of vessel control is not the cause for a report of marine casualty. Additionally, the reduction in propulsion power due to a failure is reportable as the vessel cannot maneuver as described on the maneuvering information fact sheet and cannot establish full ahead and/or astern movements.
"AN OCCURRENCE MATERIALLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECTING THE VESSEL'S SEAWORTHINESS" (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(4)) For consistency, reporting under this section should be for those instances when the vessels ability to continue at sea, diversion to another port for repairs or for loss or severe impairment of primary life saving or fire fighting equipment are impacted. A good test may be to ask the question "If the Coast Guard was aware of the condition or discrepancy, would they let the vessel sail without correction. If it is believed the Coast Guard would not let the vessel sail, then the circumstance would be reportable." Equipment on board undergoing maintenance, repair or suffering from mechanical breakdown not impairing the vessels voyage are not considered reportable.
"AN INJURY THAT REQUIRES PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL TREATMENT BEYOND FIRST AID" (46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(6)) and renders the individual unable to perform routine duties. First aid is defined in regulations ... as any one-time treatment, and any follow-up visit for the purpose of observation, minor scratches, cuts, burns and splinters which do not ordinarily require medical care. Such one-time treatment and follow-up visit is considered first aid even though provided by a physician or registered professional personnel. Reports for personnel seeking medical treatment after leaving the employment of the vessel are not required as the individual was able to continue performing his duties.
**MSU Portland NOTE** Despite the wording above, it's possible for a crewmember to continue working with a reportable injury and receive medical attention after the completion of duties. Such an injury is still reportable despite the lapse between the incident and receipt of medical care. All reportable injuries are considered serious marine incidents and implement mandatory chemical testing following a serious marine incident. Chemical testing is not required in event of injuries that do not need medical treatment beyond first aid and which otherwise do not indicate the illegal use of drugs or alcohol. See SERIOUS MARINE INCIDENTS and CHEMICAL TESTING
"AN OCCURRENCE CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGE"(46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(7)) Property damage is defined as damage to the ship, it's structure, docks, wharves, buildings and bridges but does not include cargo damage. The loss of containers over the side is considered reportable as a $25K loss. Potentially, a report of containers lost over the side could also be required as a loss of hazardous materials or as a hazardous condition under 33 CFR 160.215.
The regulations require immediate notification of reportable casualties to the CG Marine Safety Office. This is to be followed up with written notification on a (CG-2692) within five (5) days.
The desired intent for marine casualty reporting is 1. to allow CG Marine Safety Office to provide immediate assistance as soon as the notification has been received; and 2. to gather casualty statistics, which will improve personnel and vessel operating safety. The data is gathered to show trends and common causes of casualties. A good rule of thumb for when to fill out a CG-2692 is "WHEN IN DOUBT, FILL IT OUT!!".
It should be noted that failure to report a bona fide casualty could result in:
A civil penalty ($25,000 max.) against the vessel owner, operator, master or person in charge of the vessel and/or
Action of misconduct against a U.S. issued license or document for violation of a regulation.
Foreign vessels are required to report casualties that occur in the navigable waters of the U.S. (12 NM from baseline), its territories or possessions just as U.S. vessels. Likewise, this applies to a marine casualty involving a U.S. citizen on a foreign passenger carrying vessel "operating south of 75 degrees north latitude, west of 35 degrees west longitude, and east of the International Date Line; or operating in the area south of 60 degrees south latitude that - A) embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States; or B) transports passengers traveling under any form of air and sea ticket package marketed in the United States" (46 USC 6101(e)(1)). Foreign vessels carrying oil in bulk as cargo, or as cargo residue, may have to report certain casualties that occur in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including Exclusive Economic Zone (see 46 USC 6101(d)2). Also foreign vessels are subject to the same penalties for failure to report. The Chemical Testing criteria also apply.
A Serious Marine Incident (SMI) is defined as one of the reportable casualties addressed above that result in:
One or more deaths;
An injury to a crewmember, passenger, or other person which requires professional medical treatment beyond first aid, and in the case of a person employed on board a vessel in commercial service, which renders the individual unfit to perform routine vessel duties;
Damage to property, as defined above, that exceeds $100,000;
Actual or constructive total loss of any vessel subject to inspection under 46 USC 3301; or
Actual or constructive total loss of any self-propelled vessel, not subject to inspection under 46 USC 3301, of 100 gross tons or more.
A discharge of oil of 10,000 gallons or more, or the discharge of a hazardous substance in a reportable quantity into the navigable waters of the U.S. and the environment whether or not resulting from a marine casualty.
CHEMICAL TESTING REQUIRED FOR SERIOUS MARINE INCIDENT
At the occurrence of a casualty, the marine employer* "shall make a timely, good faith determination as to whether the occurrence currently is, or is likely to become, a serious marine incident" (46 CFR 4.06).
Once the marine employer makes that determination, the marine employer "shall take all practicable steps to have each individual engaged or employed on board the vessel who is directly involved in the incident chemically tested for evidence of drug and alcohol use. The chemical testing should include any individual directly involved whose order, action or failure to act is determined to be, or cannot be ruled out as a causative factor in the events leading to or causing the incident.
*Marine employer is defined as "owner, managing operator, charterer, agent, master, or person in charge of a vessel other than a recreational vessel."
The report of the chemical testing must be reported
on a "Report of Required Chemical and Alcohol Testing
Following a Serious Marine Incident" (CG-2692B) Form.
For more information, see 46 CFR 4.06