What we do
The MAIB investigates marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters.
Our job is to help prevent further avoidable accidents from occurring, not to establish blame or liability.
Marine Accident Investigation Branch receives between 1500 and 1800 reports of accidents of all types and severity each year. On average this leads to 30 separate investigations being launched.
Who we are
We are an independent unit within the Department for Transport. Our 4 experienced accident investigation teams are supported by an administrative team. We’re based in Southampton and have 35 members of staff.
This film tells how a ferry disaster led to the formation of the branch:
The second of our short films looks at how our inspectors operate in the field:
More information about the work of MAIB can be found in our information leaflets.
We’re responsible for:
- carrying out investigations to determine the causes of accidents at sea
- publishing reports that include our recommendations on improving safety at sea and the actions we’ve taken
- increasing awareness of how marine accidents happen
- improving national and international co-operation in marine accident investigations
Our priorities are to:
- maintain our position as one of the world’s leading safety investigation organisations
- help set standards in marine accident investigation by following best practice and asking those we work with to do the same
- provide our staff with regular specialised training to keep expertise up to date
Regulations and guidance
Note: if you are not using Internet Explorer then right-click on the ARF link and save it to your computer. For further information go to our report a marine accident page.
Marine guidance notice
Relevant extracts from the Merchant Shipping Act 1995
Access our information
Jobs and contracts
Read our policy on Social media use.