The Office of Investigations and Analysis published Dec. 1, 2017, Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 05-17, “Reporting and Investigation of Marine Casualties Where the United States is a Substantially Interested State.”
The circular publishes policy and guidance for the coordination and cooperation of marine casualty investigations with other Substantially Interested States (SISs) consistent with the generally recognized practices and procedures of international law described in the Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident, MSC.255(84), and Title 46, U.S.C., Chapter 61 – Reporting Marine Casualties. This includes addressing the receipt of reports and the conduct of investigations into those marine casualties involving non-U.S. flagged vessels that occur outside of the navigable waters of the United States but fall within the U.S. Coast Guard’s authority as an SIS.
The Coast Guard has prescribed regulations in 46 C.F.R. Part 4 on the immediate notification, reporting, and investigation of marine casualties. Regulations for marine casualties involving public vessels, found in 46 C.F.R. Subpart 4.40, are outside the scope of this circular. This circular addresses marine casualties as defined in 46 C.F.R. Subpart 4.03:
• Any marine casualty or accident involving any vessel that occurs upon the navigable waters of the United States, its territories, or possessions;
• Any marine casualty or accident involving a United States vessel wherever such casualty or accident occurs; or
• Any marine casualty involving a foreign tank vessel operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including the Exclusive Economic Zone, that involves significant harm to the environment or material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel.
Area, District, Sector Commanders, and Commanding Officers of units conducting marine casualty investigations should utilize the contents of this circular when conducting preliminary investigations and marine casualty investigations into incidents where other SISs may be involved.
States with the authority and responsibility to conduct marine casualty investigations are invited to use this circular to facilitate coordination and cooperation with the Coast Guard in the investigation of marine casualties as SISs.
Owners, operators, charterers, masters, persons-in-charge, marine employers, marine industry personnel, agents, merchant mariners, and all other parties that might be involved in a Coast Guard marine casualty investigation may use this circular to facilitate their understanding of and involvement in marine casualty investigations conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and other SISs.
Read the full NVIC-05-17 for more details.
This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.