Skip links and keyboard navigation

Marine incidents

Image of boat aground

Common marine incidents include groundings; capsize and swamping; fires; collisions with other boats, buoys, jetties and pontoons; falls within a boat and persons overboard.

Incidents involving injuries to people must always be reported even if the boat does not sustain any material damage. If in doubt about whether an incident is reportable, report it.

What is a marine incident?

Boats with Queensland registration

Under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994 (TOMSA), a marine incident is classified as an event causing or involving:

  • the loss of a person from a ship
  • the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, a person caused by a ship's operations
  • the loss or presumed loss or abandonment of a ship
  • a collision with a ship
  • the stranding of a ship
  • material damage to a ship
  • material damage caused by a ship's operations
  • danger to a person caused by a ship's operations
  • danger of serious damage to a ship
  • danger of serious damage to a structure caused by a ship's operations.

Domestic commercial vessels

Under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (the National Law), a marine incident is classified as:

  • a death of, or injury to, a person associated with the operation or navigation of a domestic commercial vessel
  • the loss or presumed loss of a domestic commercial vessel
  • a collision of a domestic commercial vessel with another vessel
  • a collision by a domestic commercial vessel with an object
  • the grounding, striking, flooding or capsizing of a domestic commercial vessel
  • a fire on board a domestic commercial vessel
  • a loss of stability of a domestic commercial vessel that affects the safety of the vessel
  • the structural failure of a domestic commercial vessel
  • a close quarters situation
  • an even that results in, or could have resulted in:
    • the death of, or injury to, a person on board a domestic commercial vessel
    • or the loss of a person from a domestic commercial vessel
    • or a domestic commercial vessel becoming disabled and requiring assistance.
  • the fouling or damaging by a domestic commercial vessel of:
    • any pipeline or submarine cable
    • or any aid to navigation within the meaning of the Navigation Act 2012 of the Commonwealth.
  • a prescribed incident involving a domestic commercial vessel.

More information about domestic commercial vessel marine incidents is available through the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety (the National System) website.

How do I report a marine incident?

A marine incident must be reported using the approved form to a:

Shipping Inspector within 48 hours of the incident, unless there is a reasonable excuse on F3071 Marine Incident Report form for reportable marine incidents under TOMSA

Marine Safety Inspector within 72 hours of the incident, unless there is a reasonable excuse, on AMSA529 Incident Report for domestic commercial vessels under the National Law

Penalties apply to both owners and masters for failing to report marine incidents.

These forms are also available from Department of Transport and Main Roads customer service centresMaritime Safety Queensland regional offices, Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Water Police offices.

Shipping Inspectors and Marine Safety Inspectors are located at:

  • Maritime Safety Queensland regional offices
  • Queensland Water Police offices
  • Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol offices.

If you are unable to go to one of these offices, contact Maritime Safety Queensland by phone and an officer will advise you what to do next.

The relevant marine incident report form may be completed with the assistance of a Shipping Inspector or Marine Safety Inspector to ensure the information is accurate, unbiased and as reliable as possible. It is important that the form is filled in completely, with the incident described in as much detail as possible.

Why report marine incidents?

The information gathered from marine incident reports helps to develop safety standards, education programs and on-water compliance programs that benefit all waterways users. Reporting a marine incident may also help you if you decide to make insurance claims on any damage. Some insurance companies may require a marine incident report to validate claims.

From marine incident reports, Maritime Safety Queensland collates and analyses the marine incident data and produces an annual Marine Incidents Report.

Last updated
07 April 2016