Casualty and Accident / Incident Reporting Requirements – BMSR

C23023 | 13 April 2023

Notice to: Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators / Surveyors/ Auditors 

The Barbados Maritime Ship Registry has issued Bulletin-317, to provide guidance on the requirements of reporting cases of Casualty and Accident/Incident to the Ship Registry, emphasizing the urgency to carry out the reporting as soon as possible by the quickest means available.

1. Definitions

1.1 Casualties

1.1.1. These are occurrences where there is:
(a) the death of a person, or major injury to a person
(b) or serious harm to the environment; or
(c) loss of a ship or the abandonment of a ship; or
(d) material damage to a ship; or
(e) the grounding of a ship or any collision, or a ship is disabled; or
(f) material damage caused by, or in connection with the operation of a ship.

1.1.2. An occurrence classified as a casualty is the most serious type of event. Any major injury occurring to
any person automatically classifies the event as a casualty and a major injury is defined as:
(a) any fracture (other than to fingers or toes); or
(b) any loss of a limb or part of a limb; or
(c) dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or
(d) loss of sight (temporary or permanent); or
(e) penetrating eye injuries; or
(f) other injuries leading to hypothermia or unconsciousness, requiring resuscitation, or admission to hospital or an offshore sick bay for more than 72 hours.

1.1.3. Reports of casualties are required to be sent to the Barbados Maritime Ship Registry as soon as possible by the quickest means available. In general, the quickest means available will be in the form of an e-mail to with any attachments giving the basic facts and sent as soon as possible, followed up by the sending in of the accident report form by the quickest means available as soon as it is completed.

1.1.4. “Material Damage”, like a major injury, automatically classifies the event as a casualty and material damage is defined as damage to the structure, equipment, or fittings of the ship which:
(a) requires immediate repair before the ship is able to continue in service, or
(b) which involves a breach of the hull or cracking etc. which affects the ship’s structural integrity, or
(c) which involves damage to machinery or other equipment which is safety equipment, or which is essential to the operation of the ship and thus prevents the ship from operating as designed.

1.2 Accidents

1.2.1. These are defined as an event of less seriousness than a casualty and include:
(a) falls overboard;
(b) fires and explosions;
(c) the collapsing or bursting of any pressure vessel, pipeline or valve or the accidental ignition of anything in a pipeline;
(d) the collapse or failure of any lifting equipment, access equipment, hatchcover, staging or bosun’s chair or any associated load-bearing parts;
(e) the uncontrolled release of any harmful substance or agent;
(f) any collapse of cargo, unintentional movement of cargo sufficient to cause a list, or loss of cargo overboard;
(g) snagging of fishing gear resulting in the vessel heeling to a dangerous angle.
(h) any contact by a person with loose asbestos fibre without wearing the appropriate protective clothing.

1.2.2. Any of the above are classified as accidents, however if any of these actually result in a major injury then the classification is upgraded to casualty. Similarly, while a fire is classed as an accident, if it causes material damage to the ship, then (because material damage classifies the event as a casualty) the event is upgraded to a casualty.

1.2.3. Accidents are required to be reported to Barbados Maritime Ship Registry as soon a possible and by the quickest means available.

1.3 Incidents

1.3.1 These are the least serious types of events and include all other events which do not classify as casualties or accidents and “incident” also includes “near misses” or events which could have led to accidents or casualties. Incidents are required to be reported to Barbados Maritime Ship Registry on the accident report form as soon as practicable.

2. Actions required

2.1 Owners and managers are asked to ensure that a copy of this information bulletin is readily available on board all registered vessels and that masters are aware of its contents and their responsibilities for reporting certain incidents on board.

2.2 Should there be any conflict between the contents of this information bulletin and the reporting requirements contained in the safety management system or other internal documents and policies, companies are asked to make relevant amendments to those documents to ensure compatibility with Bulletin-317.

2.3 The Accident/Incident Report Form 45 should be downloaded from the FORMS section on this website.

2.4 This information bulletin replaces No. 290 which has been withdrawn.

Act now

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators should take into consideration all the above and pay due attention to:

  • the difference and categorization of events, as Casualties, Accidents/Incidents as detailed in this circular and the original Bulletin-317 as issued by the Barbados Maritime Ship Registry.
  • the need to inform BMSR as soon as possible and by the quickest means, in the form of an e-mail to
  • Accident/Incident Report Form 45 is the form to be submitted to BMSR.
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