Roads and Maritime Services is the primary agency for investigating marine incidents in NSW.

Marine investigations

Roads and Maritime conducts investigations into the causes and circumstances of a range of marine incidents, including those involving recreational and commercial vessels, ports and ships. Roads and Maritime also investigates breaches of legislation such as the failure to comply with licensing or registration, or illegal environmental activities.

Marine accidents

Section 94(1) of the Marine Safety Act 1998 defines a marine accident.

“marine accident means any of the following events involving a vessel operating in navigable waters:

  1. the loss of life of, or injury to, any person on board the vessel,
  2. the loss of a person from the vessel,
  3. the loss of life or injury to a person that is caused by the vessel,
  4. the loss, or presumed loss, of the vessel (including the sinking or abandonment of the vessel),
  5. the capsizing, grounding or flooding of the vessel,
  6. the collision of the vessel with another vessel or with any object,
  7. the vessel being disabled at sea (in any case in which it requires assistance),
  8. any fire on board the vessel,
  9. any damage being caused to the vessel (including any structural failure),
  10. any damage to the environment caused by the vessel or by any substance on, or discharged from, the vessel,
  11. any incident that causes danger of any of the above,

but does not include anything excluded from this definition by the regulations.”

Incident reporting

If you are involved in a marine incident, see Incident reporting. 

Safety recommendations

The outcome of an investigation may include the publication of safety recommendations, so as to prevent further incidents of the same kind from occurring, or enforcement measures such as the issue of a penalty infringement notice or court action.

Vessel incident safety reports and case studies

Roads and Maritime does not normally provide copies of investigation reports to the public. Instead, the following safety reports and case studies have been compiled from real incidents and are provided so that mariners can learn from the mistakes of others.

Click the title to read the full report:

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