If you drive any sort of a vehicle, you carry a card in it verifying your insurance. On the back of the card is a list of procedures to follow if there is an accident.
As a maritime worker, you know accidents also occur on the waters around Memphis because of constant commercial and industrial boat traffic. Just as there are procedures for a vehicle accident, so there are steps to take with a maritime accident.
These are the procedures prior to a collision
While water vessels travel slower than roadway vehicles, they also take longer to turn and cannot maneuver in close quarters. As a result, you may spot an imminent accident. If you have any time to respond prior to the collision, here are some steps to take:
- Sound your available alarm
- Turn to minimize the collision
- Batten watertight hatches
- Turn on deck lights
- Tune marine radio to channel 16
These are actions to follow after a collision
Often, if there is a serious injury, heavy damage or a fire, the important steps will be obvious. When it is safely possible, follow these guidelines:
- Evaluate the condition of both crews and the seaworthiness of both vessels
- Offer assistance as needed
- Secure the ship’s log, GPS and all records
- Contact the proper maritime authorities
- Collect information from the other vessel
- Take the vessel out-of-service to the nearest available port
It is essential to remember there are no insignificant maritime collisions. Even if no one seems injured and damage appears minimal, it is important to follow up with reports, physical exams for crew members and inspections of the vessel.