The primary purpose of an investigation by the Coast Guard is to ascertain the following:
It should be clearly understood that the Coast Guard does NOT conduct investigation to determine civil liability in disputes between private litigants. Rather, it's investigations are a means to promote safety of life and property, and to protect the marine environment. Investigations are conducted for:
The information derived from investigations is used to measure the effectiveness of the Coast Guards marine safety program. It is used to monitor existing policies, the adequacy of existing regulations, and the operational practices of owners and operators. The information garnered plays a major role in changing or developing new laws or regulations as well as implementing new technologies in areas of Coast Guard concern.