Incident and Accident Reporting

As detailed in MGN 564, there is no statutory requirement for "pleasure vessels" to report accidents, however voluntary reporting is encouraged.

The following three organisations accept reports of incidents and accidents at sea.

Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP)

This is an independent confidential reporting programme for people employed or having an active interest in the maritime industry. Pleasure boaters can use CHIRP to highlight safety related issues or dangerous situations which are then analysed and the lessons learnt are distributed for the benefit of others in the maritime sector.

CHIRP is an independent charity. This status allows it to be impartial in dealing with reports received, no matter what the source of the information. Although the information provided to CHIRP is circulated to a Maritime Advisory Board who are professionals from the industry, all personal details are removed from the report before it is passed on, to ensure the only people who have access to this information are the staff at CHIRP directly dealing with the report. Absolute confidentiality of personal details is assured.

Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)

If an accident happens in UK waters or to a UK registered vessel abroad, it is the MAIB which undertakes the investigation of the accident, to ensure that all possible steps are taken to prevent a similar accidents in the future.

The MAIB produces a safety digest periodically through which information about their investigations and lessons to be learn at shared. Accident reports are also published on the MAIB website.

Marine Accident Reporting Scheme (MARS)

This scheme allows you to report near miss situations with commercial ships. The form, which is submitted direct to MARS, guides you step by step, through the information needed to report a near collision.

Related page

Keeping a log


MGN 564: marine casualty and marine incident reporting
CHIRP maritime
MAIB - report a marine accident