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flag states
Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 3:46 PM
Joined: 29/07/2009
Posts: 8

What accidents should yachts report? who too? when? and what info should we get back? Surely at least the state that supports the yachts and says they comply to safety regs should investigate? Then give the information to other yachts so as to avoid more similar accidents?

Bill F
Posted: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 9:02 PM
Joined: 13/05/2009
Posts: 4

Hello rrsails,
Great question, I can only speak for what we do here at the Marshall Islands Yacht Registry. We have been VERY busy lately, in fact we just registered our 500th yacht! And now have a fully functioning yacht center here on SE 17th ST in Fort Lauderdale.

But to answer your question, should something happen while you are on a Marshall Islands yacht, you can always talk to someone here at our company. We have a duty officer that mans the phone 24/7. He can walk you through the process, and gather the needed information. Furthermore, if you have any technical questions we have developed a new technical team devoted specifically to yachts, they can be reached at

I hope this helps answer your question. If you have any more, don't hesitate to drop by the office and see me or send us an email!



Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2009 2:36 PM
Joined: 08/05/2009
Posts: 1

If you are British flagged you are legally required to report all accidents. In the UK the body that deal with this is the Marine Accidents Investigations Branch. The definition of 'accident' is quite involved, including, for example, grounding even when they do not result in damage as well as deaths and injuries. For a full description of the definition of an accident, how to report it and to download the report form,go to It is a very interesting website. John Wyborn Blue Water Training.
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2009 5:44 PM
Joined: 29/07/2009
Posts: 8

Ok, the responses are good, but the main problem i was trying to highlight was so many yachts have what they consider to be small accidents. These could eventually turn into major headaches including legal ramifications. Yachts have had accidents this year and nothing has been reported. Those accidents could have importance for other boats especially if it is gear failure. Why is it not done? Are crew embarrassed they even had a problem? Far more embarrassing to then see another yacht have a similar problem with greater consequences?

Posted: Saturday, August 1, 2009 9:46 PM
Joined: 24/02/2009
Posts: 8

Great question and very valid considering the very large number of accidents and incidents that we see each year in the industry....many of which have similarities to accidents from years before. For the industry to mature there needs to be a generic (and at times annonymous) forum where lessons can be learned and the information be distributed in a more efficient manner than it is currently. Legally most flags, as stated above, have an interest in all accidents and incidents onboard. However, those reports that they generate are often very conservative in their conclusion....because it is irresponsible for them as the governing body to publish anything but solid facts these reports must be conservative. The feedback in these forums has at times been very educated and when the author is not shackled by fear of legal retribution there are lessons to be learned in these deregulated forums from some frank (if sometimes misdirected) discussion. Certainly I have great sympathy for yacht owners who year after year pay for losses caused by the actions of their professional crew who did the exact same thing that had already been proven to result in a loss...but not made public. Major accidents are usually the result of an accumulation of very minor incidents occuring in quick succession. If any one of the minor incidents had been identified, reported and corrective action implemented then the major incident would not have occured and the flag state would not have to write an accident report that tells us what we probably already knew. The direction of the Marshall Islands Registry continues to be supportive and educational wheras there are other flags who have a reputation for responding to an incident report like a tax auditor...which does nothing to encourage communication and growth. Bottom line...all accidents should be flag, class, owner and insurance company. To avoid those career threatening reports my suggestion is to begin a dialogue, training and corrective action when you witness anything that you consider could be risky and implement appropriate corrective or mitigating action as required.
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2009 2:23 AM
what the hell can a dekhand do
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2009 10:07 AM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1061

"what the hell can a dekhand do"---------------THINK! That's what a deckhand can do, and observe. Avoid doing stupid things and/or things precluded by the phrase "Watch This" especially if that phrase is precluded by "Hold My Beer".
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2009 10:20 AM
Joined: 23/03/2009
Posts: 8


The answer from John is absolutely correct for the UK yachts.  Not only there is an obligation to report to the MAIB, you are also encouraged to report "near miss" incidents in order to let others learn from what happened to you.Bear in mind that:

"The MAIB’s sole objective in investigating an accident under the Regulations is the prevention of
future accidents by establishing its causes and circumstances; it is not the purpose to apportion
liability, nor, except so far as is necessary to achieve the objective, to apportion blame. The MAIB
is not an enforcement or prosecuting agency."

If the MAIB is still too "official" to report near misses you may find this reporting scheme suitable:

CHIRP  = Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme

Very interesting website and probably what you look for.


 D and B Services crew training

Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2009 1:33 AM
Joined: 21/05/2008
Posts: 14

What can a deckahnd do? Start by reading the laws and regulations issued by teh flag state of the vessel you are on. Contact them in person for guidance. Document near misses. If the vessel does not have a Safety Managment System in place due to negligence or lack of requirements due to tonnage, then take it upon yourself to learn more about implementing your own Safety Managment System. learn what it means to mitigate risk on board. Take the lead. If the Master you work for ridicules you for your valiant efforts, polish that resume. Realize you well being and the well being of the people and environment are just a second away from an accident. If there is a system in place then learn all you can about it and enbrace it. Take the higher road. Never be afraid to tell a possible future employer that you left your last boat because you simlpy felt it was not a safe place to work. Look out for yourself, when you do you look out for others and the environment.
Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009 11:59 AM
Joined: 24/10/2008
Posts: 3

Herb – You nailed it on the head.


To elaborate; Safety is for everyone, the toughest thing to do; is put your career to the way side and do what’s right for the owner and crew involved.  No one wants to see anybody get hurt. 


The cause does not usually come as big hits but subtle clews as to a cascading effect that results in a catastrophic outcome.


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