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Pollution (general)


When a ship is involved in an incident which results in the discharge of a harmful substance, the Master is obliged under MARPOL 73/78 to report details of the incident, without delay, to the nearest coastal state by means of the fastest telecommunications channel available.

The provisions of MARPOL 73/78 require an incident report to be made by the ship to the nearest coastal state whenever the incident involves:

  • a discharge, or probable discharge, resulting from damage to the ship or its equipment, or for the purpose of securing the safety of a ship or saving life at sea;
  • a discharge during the operation of the ship in excess of the quantity or instantaneous rate permitted under the present convention.

It should be borne in mind that the Master has a requirement to report even when no actual spill has occurred but there is a probability that one could occur (See also : General Oil Pollution, Reporting

  • Record all useful information in logbook