Casualty circular 1 of 2006

Casualty Circular No. 1 of 2006


NO: 11-NT(41)/2005                                                        Dated: 24th January, 2006


Background :

The Nautical Adviser to the Government of India has observed that in a number of cases, reports into shipping casualties being forwarded to the Directorate, are found to be lacking in depth and quality in their contents. More so when reports are compiled by Port Officers of Minor Ports. The purpose of conducting investigations into such marine casualties thereby gets defeated.

Purpose :

The purpose of this circular is to inform and educate the Preliminary Inquiry Officer of the needs and obligations that require to be fulfilled, by providing guidelines that shall enable the PIO to adopt a uniform approach when conducting a Preliminary Investigation into a Marine casualty.


1.  The objective of any shipping casualty investigation is to prevent similar casualties in the future. The investigation should identify the circumstances of the casualty and establish the causes and contributing factors by inferencing and analyzing data compiled during the investigation.

2.  On being appointed as the Preliminary Inquiry Officer (PIO) for carrying out the investigation, it shall be the responsibility of the PIO for speedy conduct of the inquiry and in doing so he shall be guided by his concerned Principal Officer.

3.  The PIO shall conduct the inquiry in accordance with the relevant provisions contained in Part XII of the Merchant Shipping Act or as per the terms of reference assigned to him, by the Central Government.

4.  The Inquiry Report shall in all cases conform to the following format:

(i) A summary outlining the basic facts of the casualty and stating whether any death, injury or pollution occurred as a result;

(ii) The identity of the Flag State, Owners, Managers, company and classification society;

(iii) Details of the dimensions and engines of any ship involved, together with a description of crew, work routine and other relevant matters, such as time served on the ship.

(iv) A narrative detailing the circumstances of the casualty.

(v) Analysis and comment which should enable the report to reach logical conclusions or findings establishing all factors that contributed to the casualty.

(vi) A section or sections analyzing and commenting on the causal elements, including both mechanical and human factors, meeting the requirements of the IMO data base; and

(vii) Recommendations, where appropriate with a view to preventing similar casualties.

5.  Preliminary inquiries conducted by Port Officers of Minor Ports shall be routed through the Principal Officers who shall scrutinize their contents for conformance with Para 4 of the Guidelines and correctness prior submitting the same to the Directorate. The Principal Officers who submit / forward such reports to the Directorate shall state whether they concur with the findings and recommendations contained in the preliminary investigation report.

(Capt. R.K.Awasthi)
Nautical Surveyor-cum- Dy. Director General of Shipping (Tech.)

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