Launch of Casualty Management Guidelines by The Nautical Institute and the International Salvage Union


The Nautical Institute and the International Salvage Union (ISU) has launched Casualty Management Guidelines aimed at providing practical guidelines to help seafarers during a casualty, when demands can be confusing, contradictory, unclear or a combination of all three.

In the book Masters and crew members are told what to expect from people or organisations that might be involved as the casualty unfolds. Chapters are presented, describing how Masters should expect to deal with different people, from owners to government officials, insurance representatives and salvage experts. It will give all involved an idea of the job each may be undertaking, together with priorities and responsibilities. The Chapters have been authored by experts in these fields, who have casualty experience to share.

In a Foreword to the book, Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, said Casualty Management Guidelines “should become recommended reading for all those who may find themselves in a position of responsibility during a maritime casualty – preferably well in advance of the event.”

The book was launched at an event to coincide with the ISU’s Associate Members’ Day in London where Technical Editor Mr John Noble FNI, who, until recently, was an advisor to the ISU acting as its General Manager said: “When a major casualty occurs a number of priorities become immediately apparent – the first is to ensure the safety of life of those onboard. A modern reality is that protection of the environment has become the second priority for responders. As many as 50 people may be involved in  immediate casualty response activities and the purpose of these guidelines is to give all parties an idea of where priorities lie with others attending , especially where there are political pressures when a casualty threatens the environment.

“By inviting contributions from experienced major casualty responders, it is intended that this book will serve as a guide to all who may become involved in the post incident activities and enable them to appreciate what happens and where others priorities will lie during the response period.”

Captain James Robinson, President of the Institute, explained the simple premise behind the book. “Casualties are not straightforward and mariners who find themselves involved in them rarely have previous experience. This book is aimed at giving some practical help to those unfortunate enough to be caught up in a marine casualty.

“The Nautical Institute and the International Salvage Union have produced this book in partnership and by combining the expertise and experience of Shipmasters and salvors the outcome is greater than the sum of the parts.”

And he added: “All too often the Shipmaster and the OOW (Officer of the Watch) face criminal proceedings in the immediate aftermath of a casualty and are removed from the scene. It would greatly assist the salvage effort if masters and key personnel were allowed to play a role bearing in mind their familiarity with the vessel.

“The knee jerk response to seek someone to punish should take second place to the requirement for an effective response.”

Andreas Tsavliris, ISU President, praised the dedication, bravery and skill of emergency responders: “Few of us will have experienced the harsh reality of salving a disabled vessel in extremely rough seas. It remains a difficult and dangerous job that relies on the willingness of individual seafarers to put themselves in harm’s way for the greater good. Effective cooperation between all those involved in casualty response operations is essential for success. These Casualty Management Guidelines, covering all aspects of the subject and written by those at the ‘sharp end’ with real experience, represent an excellent resource and I commend them to the shipping industry.”

Casualty Management Guidelines is available from The Nautical Institute price: £20; ISBN: 978 1 906915 39 1<>