USA: Report of marine accident, injury or death when in US waters

US medical care

Published: 3 August 2012

To the Members:

When a marine accident, injury or death occurs in the US waters, notification to the US Coast Guard must be immediate and the completed US Coast Guard 2692 form must be submitted with 5 days of the incident.

A marine casualty is not limited to collisions, groundings, pollution incidents, equipment failures, etc. It also involves incidents where longshore personnel sustain injuries beyond first aid and incidents where crew members are seriously injured and rendered until for duty.


The full text of 46 CFR § 4.05-1 reads as follows:

46 CFR § 4.05-1: Notice of marine casualty.

(a) Immediately after the addressing of resultant safety concerns, the owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge, shall notify the nearest Marine Safety Office, Marine Inspection Office or Coast Guard Group Office whenever a vessel is involved in a marine casualty consisting in--

(1) An unintended grounding, or an unintended strike of (allison with) a bridge;

(2) An intended grounding, or an intended strike of a bridge, that creates a hazard to navigation, the environment, or the safety of a vessel, or that meets any criterion of paragraphs (a) (3) through (8);

(3) A loss of main propulsion, primary steering, or any associated component or control system that reduces the maneuverability of the vessel;

(4) An occurrence materially and adversely affecting the vessel's seaworthiness or fitness for service or route, including but not limited to fire, flooding, or failure of or damage to fixed fire-extinguishing systems, lifesaving equipment, auxiliary power-generating equipment, or bilge-pumping systems;

(5) A loss of life;

(6) An injury that requires professional medical treatment (treatment beyond first aid) and, if the person is engaged or employed on board a vessel in commercial service, that renders the individual unfit to perform his or her routine duties; or

(7) An occurrence causing property-damage in excess of $25,000, this damage including the cost of labor and material to restore the property to its condition before the occurrence, but not including the cost of salvage, cleaning, gas-freeing, drydocking, or demurrage.

(8) An occurrence involving significant harm to the environment as defined in Sec. 4.03-65.

(b) Notice given as required by 33 CFR 160.215 satisfies the requirement of this section if the marine casualty involves a hazardous condition as defined by 33 CFR 160.203.

(c) Except as otherwise required under this subpart, if the marine casualty exclusively involves an occurrence or occurrences described by paragraph (a)(8) of this section, a report made pursuant to 33 CFR 153.203, 40 CFR 117.21, or 40 CFR 302.6 satisfies the immediate notification requirement of this section.

Recent experience in various US ports, particularly the port of Houston, have revealed the term "immediately" has been strictly interpreted by the USCG and, in some cases, they have taken the position that notification should be within one hour. This notification period applies not only to vessel casualties but also in cases of personal injury to longshore personnel or crew. In some recent cases, even those where the Master has notified the local agent of such an injury, but the local agent has not timely notified the USCG, the failure to comply with this regulation has resulted in a fine against the vessel and/or a letter of warning to the Master. Therefore, it is important for members to be aware of this requirement for the marine casualties described above.

Please contact our Skuld NY office by emailing if you have further questions.