Emergency Procedures

Imminent Collision / Collision

  • Emergency alarm (internal) to be sounded
  • Give sound and/or light signals as prescribed in the Collision Regulations
  • Manoeuvre ship so as to minimize effects of collision
  • Close watertight doors
  • Switch on deck lighting
  • Keep VHF on Channel 16

If collision occurred:
  • consider and analyze situation (if possible, take pictures)
  • establish contact with other vessel and exchange all relevant information
  • hold other vessel responsible for the collision
  • if possible, offer assistance to the other vessel
  • collect all facts about occurrence


  • make sure the log book has been properly kept
  • do not erase any information on the working chart (times, positions, courses steered, logs, etc.)
  • ensure that the movement book is properly kept in ink
  • collect the course recorder printout and the printouts from telegraph recorders and the engine room
  • take particularly note of the exact time of the collision, the heading of the vessel at the time of the collision, the angle of blow by or to the other vessel, the speed of each vessel at the time of the collision, any alteration of speed and course prior to the collision

  • Update if necessary vessel's position in radio room, satellite terminal and other automatic distress transmitters (GMDSS)
  • Evaluate risks of pollution
  • Sound bilges and tanks
  • Check stability
  • Inform Company
  • Notify other vessels in the vicinity if required
  • In case of fire, refer to fire check list
  • Evaluate possibility of abandoning the vessel
  • Injury and damages to be taken care of

Note : 
See also "The master's Role in Collecting Evidence" which gives an extensive checklist in case of a collision.