Oceangoing Cargo Ships Safety & Operational Matters
Home || Tanker Safety || Container Ship Handling || Commercial Management || EMS ||

Ships Collision Accident Handling Check List

As the global number of commercial ships continues to grow, seas are becoming more and more congested. Although there have been many advancements in navigation technology in recent years, collision at sea, still a considerable concern, it is especially true in busy traffic areas like Singapore strait, Dover strait, or the east coast of China. While navigating in a congested waterway, ship watchkeeping officers must understand practical procedures to avoid collision guided by International Colreg 1972.

containerships operational matters
Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Below checklist for handling merchant ships collision accident is only indicative, not exhaustive and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

Prepare record in time series : In particular, the following matters must be recorded for the time of the accident :
  1. The exact time of the collision and the ship's position
  2. Positions of watchmen before the collision (on the bridge and at the bow).
  3. Conditions of the navigation lights, and fog signals before the collision. (Time when sound signals were sent or heard.) . Also any VHF exchanges prior and after collision.
  4. Conditions of use of steering gear and engine and the helm/speed before the collision.
  5. If bow thruster in operation , its rate of power at that time
  6. The.its movement after that.
  7. The time, direction, distance and appearance at the time when the opponent ship or her light was recognized for the first time, and conditions of lights around the spot of the collision.
  8. The actions of the vessel including the course, maneuvering signals and speed, and the movement of the other ship.
  9. Heading direction of both ships, the angle of the collision, which portion of the hull collided, and use of anchors at the collision.
  10. Weather ,sea conditions , visibility ,tidal currents ,at the time of collision.
  11. If under pilotage, any communication from pilot with bridge personnel or shore
  12. Short description of radar settings
  13. Degree of damage to both vessels.
  14. Measures taken after the collision and means, time and results of lifesaving activities (in time series).
  15. Eye-witness statements from ship staff taken immediately and any photos/videos taken by crew
  16. Names of any other vessels having witnessed the collision and their approximate positions

Submit the claim notice and have the opponent party sign the note. And if it is unavoidable to sign the claim notice of the opponent party, be sure to affix a remark; I received your Claim Notice without prejudice, or This is not an admission of liability in the notice. Please do not allow the opponent vessels interest (their lawyers, surveyors, etc.) to interview the crew or take records of the vessel, unless permitted by Company Inform Company, coastal marine safety organization ( if in their waters)

Damage survey by the vessel hands and emergency measures
  1. Survey collision damage, (later) prepare a rough sketch of the damage and inspect the cargo for damage/confirm the content in cargo tanks.
  2. Sound tanks and bilges in affected areas
  3. If any flooding, close watertight doors and openings and start discharging operation. If the breakage is small, take waterproofing measures (using blankets, tarpaulins, cement box, wooden plugs, shoring and the like)
  4. In serious flooding in E/R, use Bilge Injection system
  5. Isolate cargo, fuel, and ballast pipeline sources to affected areas of vessel
  6. If the breakage is above waterlines, take waterproofing measures against sea spray
  7. If the breakage is on the Fore Peak Tank, adjust the speed so that excessive pressure will not be applied to the collision bulkhead
  8. Consider filling opposite end tank to offset list/trim caused by flooding
  9. Compare the flooding rate with the discharging capacity. If flooding rate is higher, consider the possibility of a loss of buoyancy.
  10. If loss of buoyancy is likely to occur, consider where to strand the vessel

Confirming details on the other ship: Ships name, type, gross tonnage, Masters name, Ship owner and operator Port of registry, Cargo, last port and next port

Securing documents for evidence

It is often demanded to submit the originals of the following documents to the authorities, so make their copies at an early stage. Consult with the Company before submission.
  1. Charts and the deck logbook/bell book
  2. Record paper for the course recorder. (Since replacing paper usually produces a time lag of one to two minutes, it is recommended to affix on the paper the time of its removal for easier check of the time in the future).
  3. Record paper for the telegraph logger and the bell book.
  4. Capture the Voyage Data Recorder data
  5. STCW records of working and rest hours of Master, officers and crew on duty
  6. Drug & Alcohol Test of involved ships personnel
  7. Statement of fact by pilot if on board
Various investigations
  1. Access control as per SSP must be maintained at all times.
  2. Render full cooperation in the investigations by lawyers, surveyors, and P&I correspondents who are appointed for their own vessel.
  3. Reject investigation by the opponent surveyor unless permitted by Company. However, surveys on hull and cargo ( known as W.P. survey) are permitted but limited to only checking the extent of damages and no more.
  4. Master should fully cooperate with interviews by a Flag or Coastal State. Administration by giving them honest and accurate answers (or such signed statement).
  5. NO statements to the media shall be given by the vessels except company permission. Politely refer media to Company.

Conclusion of salvage (TOWAGE) contract

  1. Confirm type and details of the salvage contract. (Does the contract meet the vessel's request or the instructions from the Company?).
  2. Confirm where and when the contract will expire.
  3. Conclusion of a towage agreement
  4. Confirm the type and details of the towage contract. (Confirm that the contract is a mere towage contract and that the towing operation is to be carried out under the command of the Master of the vessel).
  5. Confirm where the contract will expire.
Recording during salvage (TOWING) operation
  1. Record weather and sea conditions continually during the salvage (towing) operation.
  2. The time of arrival of the salvage (towing) party, name of salvage boats, the time of signature on the salvage (towage) contract.
  3. Details of discussions between the salvage (towing) party and the vessel side.
  4. Detailed work at each step of the operation, and the type and quantity of the used materials.
  5. Recording the work done by the vessel, course, distance, use of the engine and the like.
  6. The date, time and place of the completion of the salvage (towing) operation.

Legal assistance - Appointment of Company Solicitor

The Company may appoint a solicitor after an incident involving liability and or third parties to act on behalf of Owners and Underwriters to investigate the incident. If this decision is made, the Master will be immediately notified and given details of the lawyer attending. The ship's personnel must not discuss the incident with anyone other than the lawyer. In certain countries, a civil authority may be given the responsibility of investigating the incident. In such a circumstance, it is to discuss the case with the public authority investigator, but, if possible, any discussion is to be delayed until the arrival of the Company's solicitor.

Further reading:

How to avoid a close quarter situation?

Matters that require attention after a collosion incidence

Related Information

How to restore power after a collision accident with another vessel ?

Countermeasures for ships power failure

Ship in distress and protecting marine life

How to extinguish fire after a collision incidence

Stranded vessel safety check item

Requesting for salvage after own vessel involved in a collision situation

Guideline for salvage of another ship after colliding with own vessel

Missing person reported after a collision accident -how to deal?

Safety of navigation for containership

What are the steering gear check item ? ....

How to avoid navigation in heavy weather ? ....

What are the conditions that should be reported to master while navigating ship ? ....

What are the safe navigational procedure for the officer of the watch ? ....

How to deal with engine or steering gear trouble ? ....

What is gyro failure and countermeasures ? ....

How to respond with engine trouble ? ....

How to deal with ships collision accident ? ....

What is navigation in restricted visibility ? ....

Passage planning guideline for cargo ships

Guide to watch officer for ships navigation ?

Collision accident handling checklist for ships

Emergency procedure for ships main engine failure

Emergency procedure for ships power failure

How to prevent oil pollution after colliding with another vessel

Fighting fire and countermeasures after a collision incident

Stranding handling checklist after colliding with another vessel

Guideline for salvage operation after a collision accident

Guideline for salvage of another ship after collision accident

Emergency check items to find a missing crew Salvage remunerations - benifits of L.O.F. contract or daily hire basis contract

More shipboard operation and safety matters

Safe anchoring - planning and operational guidance for cargo ships

Anchor watch check item - deck officers guideline ....

How to deal with a damaged anchor? ....

How to recover a lost anchor ? ....

What is stranding ? Investigation of possibility of self-refloating and urgency of danger ....

What are the emergency procedures for loss of anchor and chain? ....

In case of damage to anchor and chain when to claim for '' general average"? ....

Ships arrival in ports - check item prior entry

Ships navigation in restricted visibility check items

Rules of ships navigation in restricted visibility

Ships navigation in confined water - matters that require attention

Securing your vessel for sea passage - when to check and what to check

Collecting Information and Data for Passage Planning

Other info pages !

Ships Charterparties Related terms & guideline
Stevedores injury How to prevent injury onboard
Environmental issues How to prevent marine pollution
Cargo & Ballast Handling Safety Guideline
Reefer cargo handling Troubleshoot and countermeasures
DG cargo handling Procedures & Guidelines
Safety in engine room Standard procedures
Questions from user and feedback Read our knowledgebase
Home page

ShipsBusiness.com is merely an informational site about various aspects of ships operation,maintenance procedure, prevention of pollution and many safety guideline. The procedures explained here are only indicative, not exhaustive in nature and one must always be guided by practices of good seamanship.

User feedback is important to update our database. For any comment or suggestions please Contact us
Site Use and Privacy - Read our privacy policy and site use information.
//Home //Terms and conditions of use

Copyright © 2015 www.shipsbusiness.com All rights reserved.