About us

What we do

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch 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.

In 2013 the Marine Accident Investigation Branch received 1336 reports of accidents of all types and severity which led to 33 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 34 members of staff.

This film tells how a ferry disaster led to the formation of the branch:

About Us

The second of our short films looks at how our inspectors operate in the field:

The role of MAIB inspectors

More information about the work of MAIB can be found in our information leaflets.

Our responsibilities

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

Our priorities for 2014 to 2015 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

Reporting requirements

Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012

The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

Marine guidance notice

MGN 458 Accident reporting and investigation

Relevant extracts from the Merchant Shipping Act 1995

259. Powers of inspectors in relation to premises and ships

260. Provisions supplementary to section 259

267. Investigation of marine accidents

292. General functions of Secretary of State

Corporate information

Access our information

Jobs and contracts

Read our policy on Social media use.

Corporate reports