Maritime

Marine accident means an event, or a sequence of events, that has resulted in any of the following which has occurred directly in connection with the operations of a ship: 1) the death of, or serious injury to, a person; 2) the loss of a person from a ship; 3) the loss, presumed loss or abandonment of a ship; 4) material damage to a ship; 5) the stranding or disabling of a ship, or the involvement of a ship in a collision; 6) material damage to marine infrastructure external to a ship, that could seriously endanger the safety of the ship, another ship or an individual; or 7) severe damage to the environment, or the potential for severe damage to the environment, brought about by the damage of a ship or ships. However, a marine accident does not include a deliberate act or omission, with the intention to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual or the environment.

Marine accidents are classified as very serious, serious and less serious.

Very serious marine accident means a marine accident involving the total loss of the ship, or a death or severe damage to the environment.

Serious marine accident means marine accident to ship which do not qualify as very serious accident and which involve a fire, explosion, collision, grounding, contact, heavy weather damage, ice damage, hull cracking, or suspected hull defect, etc., resulting in:
1) immobilization of main engines, extensive accommodation damage, severe structural damage, such as penetration of the hull under water, etc., rendering the ship unfit to proceed , or
2) pollution (regardless of quantity); and/or
3) a breakdown necessitating towage or shore assistance.

Less serious marine accident means marine accident to ship which do not qualify as very serious marine accident or serious marine accident.

A marine incident means an event, or sequence of events, other than a marine accident, which has occurred directly in connection with the operations of a ship that endangered, or, if not corrected, would endanger the safety of the ship, its occupants or any other person or the environment. However, a marine incident does not include a deliberate act or omission, with the intention to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual or the environment.

The investigator-in-charge of marine accidents and incidents, appointed by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – investigator-in charge), carries out safety investigations marine accidents and marine incidents.

The investigator-in-charge investigates very serious marine accidents which:
• involves a ship flying Lithuanian flag, irrespective of the location of the accident;
• occurs within Lithuanian territorial sea, internal waters and Lithuanian port areas, irrespective of the flag of the ship;
• involves a substantial interest of the Republic of Lithuania.

In case of serious marine accident, investigator-in-charge carries out a preliminary assessment in order to decide whether or not to undertake a safety investigation.

In case of less serious marine accident or incident, the investigator-in-charge shall decide whether or not a safety investigation is to be undertaken.

The Investigator-in-charge do not investigate accidents or incidents, involving only:
• ships of war and troop ships and other ships owned or operated by the Republic of Lithuania and used only on government non-commercial service;
• inland waterway vessels operating in inland waterways;
• ships not propelled by mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, pleasure yachts and pleasure craft not engaged in trade, unless they are or will be crewed and carrying more than 12 passengers for commercial purposes;
• fishing vessels with a length of less than 15 metres;
• fixed offshore drilling units.

Reporting about marine accident or marine incident

Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre of Lithuanian Armed forces, Klaipeda State Seaport Authority and (or) other entities or individuals, who have received information about a marine accident or marine incident, must inform investigator-in-charge (ph. +370 686 74879, e-mail: taits@tm.lt) immediately, but not later than within 24 hours after the receiving of such information, transmit all relevant information about marine accident or marine incident and submit the fulfilled form of notification of a marine accident or incident via e-mail taits@tm.lt.

Liability for failure to report marine accident or marine incident

Failure to report a marine accident or marine incident to the competent authority under the established procedure renders the person administratively liable under Article 401(1) of the Code of Administrative Offences.

Last updated: 19-06-2019