What is initial assessment after collision?

Prevention of further damage

Upon collision with another ship, Go Astern as early as possible to limit the damage and to avoid further contact.  But if the bow of the vessel has penetrated into the side shell of the other vessel, reverse the engine only after an initial damage assessment as one of the vessels may suddenly lose her buoyancy and sink, or cause/increase oil pollution. 

Damage survey and measures against flooding

Survey the degree of damages of the hull by sounding all compartments likely to be affected by the collision. Limit any flooding by using available means onboard.

  1. If the leakage is small, wooden plugs, blankets, tarpaulin, cement boxes or the like can be used to reduce the flooding rate.
  2. An increase in draft due to flooding can cause flooding through openings that are usually above waterlines, to which serious attention must be given.
  3. If high rate flooding is likely to cause the vessel to sink, an intentional stranding should be considered.
  4. In case of a leakage in the fore peak tank, proceed with reduced speed so that excessive pressure on the collision bulkhead is kept to a minimum, and move the vessel to safer waters . Ballast aft tanks if possible to regain freeboard forward. 

Life saving and rescue of other ship

  1. If there is no urgent danger to the vessel, stay near the other ship to take all necessary measures to save human lives and assist in possible rescue attempt of the other vessel.
  2.  If the other vessel has sunk or is likely to sink, do the very best to save human lives immediately by lowering lifeboats or other possible means.
  3. If it is unavoidable to discontinue the search although there are still persons reported lost from the other ship, obtain consent of the other ship or the Rescue Coordination Centre. Enter the fact in the deck logbook.
  4. Handling an accident resulting in injury or death of the vessels crew should be dealt mentioned in the Emergency Procedures for Human Casualty .


If the accident is likely to cause obstruction to marine traffic, the Master shall report the matter to the nearest office of the Maritime Safety Agency , or the Coast Guard or the like, if the vessel is in territorial waters of countries .