By law all accidents, incidents or mishaps are to be recorded – every employer of seafarers on a Cook Island vessel shall maintain a register of accidents, incidents and mishaps.
There is an obligation in the Maritime Transport Act to notify the Ministry of Transport as soon as practicable after a mishap that results in serious harm to a person, or after any accident or incident. This obligation is on the Master of any Cook Islands Vessel or any foreign vessel in the Cook Islands waters.
In general, an Accident means any occurrence whee someone is seriously harmed; where the vessel sustains damage or structural failure; where there is a complete or partial failure of machinery or equipment that affects the seaworthiness of the vessel; where there is loss, damage or movement of the cargo on the vessel that poses a risk to the vessel; when a person is lost at sea; if a vessel is foundering, capsizing or has had a major fire onboard.
An Incident is any other occurrence that is associated with the operation of a vessel and affects, or could affect, the safety of operation.
A Mishap is an event that causes any person to be harmed or, in different circumstances, might have caused any person to be harmed.
Some examples of what would be expected to be reported:
These are examples only – if you are in doubt if something should be reported, then report.
The Small Motorised Vessel Regulations also require reporting of accidents or incidents at sea. In the Regulations the definition of an incident also includes a ‘near miss’. In the Regulations the obligation is on any driver or operator of any motorised vessel involved in any accident or incident.
Reports are to be provided to the Ministry as soon as possible after the event, and in any case no more than 24 hrs after the incident. The Ministry may request additional information and may also carry out an investigation.