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Maritime Near-miss Reporting System


Like other transport modes, the maritime industry has a well-defined and implemented accident reporting and investigation system. Implicit in this system is the perception that a thorough understanding of accident causes can be used to guide corrective actions and prevent occurrence of similar incidents in the future. While actual accidents are generally captured and investigated on a national or international basis, accident precursors and “close calls” are not as well captured and understood.

Close calls or near-misses are those events where an incident occurs which does not result in an actual loss event. The spectrum of near-miss events ranges from personnel injuries to vessel casualties.


In order to enhance awareness and improve overall safety in the maritime industry, the Committee on Marine Safety and Human Factors (AW040) encourages research into the feasibility of developing and implementing a comprehensive Maritime Near-miss Reporting System. Research focus areas should include the mechanisms for reporting and collection of near-miss reports, protection of sensitive and proprietary information, quality assurance of the data, and the potential for a non-regulator, independent third party to serve as the data clearinghouse.

Of particular interest are identification of the regulatory and legal issues that serve as barriers to implementing such a system. In addition, the research should address the information sharing approaches that will enhance dissemination and information sharing among the various elements of the maritime industry.


This research could enhance safety in the Marine Transportation System by fostering information sharing and ultimately helping reduce loss event causal factors.

Sponsoring Committee:AW040, Marine Safety and Human Factors
Research Period:12 - 24 months
Research Priority:High
Date Posted:09/05/2019
Date Modified:09/06/2019
Index Terms:Maritime safety, Near crashes, Crash reports,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Marine Transportation
Data and Information Technology
Safety and Human Factors

Please click here if you wish to share information or are aware of any research underway that addresses issues in this research needs statement. The information may be helpful to the sponsoring committee in keeping the statement up-to-date.