Marine accidents undergo investigation by the Office of Marine Safety. The National Transportation Safety Board’s website notes that federal officials review the facts of each incident to find its probable cause. An official determination helps show whether safety issues played a role in the accident.
The NTSB typically publishes marine accident reports in a public document. If you experienced an injury at sea, you may use the NTSB’s public documents to help file a claim against a ship’s owner.
What types of accidents does the OMS investigate and what does it report?
The OMS investigates marine mishaps involving injuries, abandoned ships or reoccurring accidents. A marine accident, as defined under the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, involves ship accidents within U.S. waters and those of its territories or possessions. Marine accidents include injuries from flooding, explosions and stranded or overboard passengers.
Accidents involving six or more lives lost or property damage worth more than $500,000 classify as major marine casualties. Incidents involving hazardous materials also qualify. The Code of Federal Regulations’ website notes that when the NTSB reports its conclusions, the agency may also offer safety information or recommendations.
What information may I use to prove my injuries?
After an accident, you may obtain a copy of the NTSB’s public records. If an accident caused serious injuries, you may also use your medical records when filing your claim.
As reported by gCaptain.com, an official investigation of two vessels colliding in the Outer Bar Channel off the coast of Texas uncovered its probable cause. Investigators released records, including the vessels’ VHF radio signals and radar plots, that helped determine the cause of the crash.
Catastrophic sea collisions undergo scrutiny by federal investigators. Officials may file charges against ship operators or use the information to change safety laws. Injured parties may also file a legal action to seek relief to recover.