Report an accident

To fulfil its primary role of improving safety of life at sea, it is essential that the MAIB investigates accidents immediately, before vital evidence decays, is removed or lost.

To enable this the law requires that accidents, including serious injuries, be reported by the quickest means possible. The MAIB has a dedicated reporting line for this purpose: 023 8023 2527 from within the UK, or +44 23 8023 2527 if you are outside the UK. This line is manned 24 hours a day.

Having reported the accident by telephone, a completed accident report form (ARF) should be emailed or faxed to +44 23 8023 2459 as soon as possible.
PLEASE NOTE: the MAIB email account and fax machine are only monitored during normal office hours.

When making reports, whether on an ARF or in narrative, the content of the descriptive text is particularly important. Lessons can be learned from the positive as well as negative aspects. Details of actions taken to minimise the effects of the accident are particularly helpful. A description of actions taken or recommendations made to prevent a recurrence are also of value. Much is gained from the information provided by those most closely involved in the event at the time it occurred.

The MAIB welcomes the voluntary reporting of accidents to or on pleasure craft used only for recreation purposes and not for commercial gain, but there is no statutory requirement for this.

Available form formats




For more information on reporting requirements and the law please go to regulations in the resources section of this website.




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