Report a boat accident, incident or death

Recreational and commercial marine operators in the Northern Territory (NT) must report all accidents or incidents on the water as soon as possible under law.

This includes all vessels whose next port of call is at a port or place in the NT.

If you don't report you could face a penalty.

When to a report an accident or incident

You must make a report if your vessel has been involved in an accident or incident that results in:

  • injury of a person on board
  • collision with another vessel
  • damage which renders or is likely to render it unsafe
  • a fire on board
  • danger from the actions of another boat
  • danger of a wreck or collision
  • damages to a pipeline, submarine cable or marine navigational unit
  • an accident in which the sea is polluted by oil or a noxious substance either by your boat or another vessel.

For more information about accidents or incidents that must be reported, read the report form below or the Marine Act 1981.

To have a matter referred to the Water Police, call NT Police assistance on 131 444.

How to report an accident or incident

To report an accident or incident, follow these steps.

Step 1. Fill in the report of a recreational vessel involved in a marine incident.

Report of recreational vessel involved in a marine incident PDF (237.0 KB)
Report of recreational vessel involved in a marine incident DOCX (203.5 KB)

Step 2. Email the form to the Marine Safety Branch at

Report a death

You must call NT Police on 000 or 131 444 to report a death.

You must also notify the Marine Safety Branch of a death or serious injury to a person on your boat.

Call 08 8924 7100 or email

If you don't report a death you could face a penalty.

Commercial marine operators

Commercial marine operators should follow the same steps listed above for accidents, incidents or death.

Operators must also go to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) website to make a report.

The operator must notify AMSA within four hours of becoming aware of the accident or dangerous occurrence.

Read more information on incident reporting, when to report an incident and general incident reporting for commercial vessels on the AMSA website.

Last updated: 04 March 2021

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