Sun, Oct

Basic Advice

A Master's Guide to Shipboard Accident Response

  In the event of an incident or allegation which gives, or may give, rise to a P&I problem there are certain actions which you should always take and certain actions which you should never take. These actions are listed on this page. The checklists which follow are designed to help you to remember what to do and who to call.


    • keep your owner or manager informed;

    • call the local P&I correspondent;

    • investigate every allegation of injury, damage, or pollution;

    • collect any evidence or documentation relating to the incident, including any defective equipment. Store it in a safe place and label clearly the pieces of evidence. Throw nothing away;

    • take photographs of any damage or conditions relating to the incident;

    • instruct witnesses to write notes of what they themselves saw or heard and to draw a diagram, if appropriate. This should be done as soon as possible after the incident. Write personal notes about the incident yourself (note 1);

    • seek the advice of the P&I correspondent before issuing a written statement or report;

    • if an injury has occurred, complete your company’s accident report form and make an entry in the ship’s log;

    • limit any report to facts, not personal opinions.



    • allow a surveyor or lawyer on board the ship or to interview crew members, until he has identified himself and produced appropriate authorisation to satisfy you that he is acting for your owner;

    • allow surveyors or lawyers acting for opposing parties on board, unless accompanied by a surveyor or lawyer acting for your owner;

    • give written material or physical evidence to opposing lawyers or surveyors. If in doubt, do not hand anything to anyone;

    • give an opinion, especially in the accident report, as to who or what was responsible;

    • allow crew members to express opinions;

    • admit liability, either verbally or in writing;

    • sign a document which you know contains incorrect information;

    • think the problem will go way if you do nothing.



    1 You will need these notes during the formal interview with the local correspondent or Club-appointed lawyer to help you remember what occurred.

    2 The importance of preventing strangers from visiting the ship and collecting information cannot be over-emphasised. However, there may be circumstances where it is impossible for you to prevent this from happening.