We have put some of the recent and important maritime cases in the legal section except those regarding OSHA which are in the OSHA section. Go to the OSHA section for links to OSHA decisions. 

Many of these sites require Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to access the documents. It can be downloaded free by clicking on the following icon. Get Acrobat Reader Link

Accident Reports - This will take the reader to a page of links to reports of maritime accidents.

American Waterways Operators -  The web site of the towing vessel association.

CG Environmental  - Anti-fouling Systems; Ballast Water Management; Dry Cargo Residues; Hazardous Materials Standards; Vessel Response Plans; Area Contingency Plans.

Boating Laws (State) - This link takes you to the latest compilation of State Boating Laws.

Boating Regulations - National Park Service - The regulations are set forth in 36 CFR 3 which can be accessed in the Legal section of this web site under Code of Federal Regulations.

Boat Owners Association of The United States - Boat US information services and savings from USA's largest organization of recreational boaters.

Boating Safety Circulars - The Coast Guard publication which is published on no set schedule and contains useful information on safety aspects of boating.

Boating Statistics - The Coast Guard's boating annual accident statistics.

Boat Recalls - The Coast Guard database of recalls of recreational boats for defects

Boating Safety - This extensive sight belongs to the Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety. It contains a lot of information valuable to both the boater and to accident investigators. In addition, it has links to other boating sights.

Bridge Administration (USCG) - Bridge over the Navigable Waters of the United States fall under Coast Guard jurisdiction. This site links to the Headquarters web page which contains information on bridge administration and permits.

Bridge Allision Report -  The American Waterways Organization (AWO) and the Coast Guard have published their report of a study on bridge/tug/barge allisions (an allision is a striking of a stationary or fixed object by a vessel). This study is the third and most recent on allisions.

Bridge Watchstanding Study by UK - An interesting study which indicates that one person watches are not working out.

Carbon Monoxide - The exhaust fumes from gasoline engines including generators, that has killed many boaters and swimmers. Links to various sites.

C-Port - The home page of the National Trade Association for Marine Assistance Industry. This site has current information on the Coast Guard Search and Rescue policy, legislation relating to SAR, and other interesting information on SAR.

Charts -   NOAA's Coast Survey distributes free of charge the up-to-date, digital, and geo-referenced coastal map data layer, Coastal Map series. Download them from this site

Chart Viewer Online -  NOAA's Coast Survey permits the online viewing of any of its charts. This is good for familiarization, but not navigation.

USS COLE -  Interesting photographs of the COLE being loaded on another vessel after she was bombed for transportation back to the US for repair.

Coast Guard Headquarters Reorganization This is a unique document because it not only list the new titles of headquarters offices but contains policy letter which are helpful.

Coast Guard Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship - Listing of general information and links to all other sections of the Coast Guard's program such as publications and information on the Coast Guard's Marine Safety, Security and Environmental programs, studies,  and proposed regulations. Some specific links are set forth below.

Directives - Index and links to most Coast Guard directives

Drug testing - This link takes you to Volume V of the Marine Safety Manual. It is very large and therefore will take time to load. Chapter C6 related to the law enforcement drug and alcohol program.

Drug and Alcohol testing overview - Issued by 8th Coast Guard District

Drug Testing requirements for licensing

Homeport -  A new informational portal by the Coast Guard to provide information to the industry and public regarding cargo ships, passenger vessels, research vessels and towing vessels. It also has links to various other subjects relating to maritime functions.

Information Exchange -  A Coast Guard web site linking to a list of approved equipment and the Port State Information Exchange.

Licensing and Documentation - Requirements for licensing and documentation

Mailing Lists -  In this period of transition, If you want email notification of new marine safety items, maritime security notices, environmental protection information, notices of proposed regulations, vessel reporting requirements and vessel documentation information, you can sign up for them on this site.

Maritime Information Exchange Incident Investigation Reports - The Online Incident Investigation Report provides you with information regarding maritime incidents investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard under Part D of Title 46 of the U.S. Code. These are usually related to equipment failure effecting the seaworthiness of a specific vessel.

Marine Safety Manual (MSM) - Go to Homeport above and select

Marine Safety Newsletter - On line copies of the Coast Guard monthly newsletter by the Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Directorate. Contains abstracts of major USCG rulemakings, studies, special projects and related events.

Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Mariners - Federal RegisterNavigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 4-08 with enclosures.

Navigation Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC's)

Port Security Advisories - Coast Guard issued Security Advisories on vessel and port security including piracy.

Port State Control -  New Site with SOLAS Port State control & Environmental Protection, and Sucurity (PSC ISPS/MTSA Compliance) features. Includes list of detained vessels, targeted states, etc. Under Data Bases one can find the old Port State Information Exchange with data on US Flag vessels as well as other flag vessels.

Phone book of Marine Safety Sectors

Proceedings of the Marine Safety Council -  This quarterly magazine is published by the Office of Marine Safety, Security 7 Environmental Protection.

Public Information page of Seattle District with links to other areas of Coast Guard Public Information. Contains a search feature.

Safety Alerts -  Safety alerts and lessons learned is published by the Coast Guard office of marine investigations.

Suspension and Revocation Decisions - This site provides an index of the Commandant's Decisions on Appeal of action taken against the license or document or merchant mariner's document of seamen as well as the text of each decision in downloadable format.

Coast Guard Navigation Center - This link is to the web page of the Headquarters office which controls the Aids to Navigation of the Coast Guard - buoys, lights, electronic aids etc.

        13th Coast Guard District Aids to Navigation Office

Coast Guard Research and Development  - The Coast Guard Research Development Center is responsible for researching many facets of maritime (and Coast Guard Aviation) activities. Many of their studies are available on line at this site.

Coast Pilot -  NOAA is now offering the Coast Pilot publications online free. These publications describe local areas noting hazards, unique currents, and many other significant observations of each area. They are important to the navigator, and to casualty investigators.

Data Buoy Information - The premier source of meteorological and oceanographic measurements for the marine environment. Down load historical data collected from the buoys of the National Data Buoy Center.

Documentation of Vessels - Vessel documentation data query by vessel name or number. This will provide details of the vessel and the owner when the vessel's name is known.

Vessel Documentation Search by boat name

Department of Homeland Security - Home page

Drug Testing - An article written by an Administrative Law Judge about Coast Guard procedures relating to drug usage, and the revocation or suspension of merchant marine documents or licenses resulting there from. (Courtesy of Maritime Executive (MAREX newsletter) 2010)

Fishing Vessel Links -  Links to web sites relating to Fishing Vessels, Fishing Vessel Safety, Coast Guard links and reports.

Harvard Maritime Group - a global maritime consultancy composed of U.S. Merchant Marine Officers specializing in Piracy, Port Security, Cargo Advisement and Management Consulting.

Human Element Forum -  A common database for, and to promote debate on, all maritime related human element research, focusing attention on areas of weakness that may lead to new research projects while offering a vehicle for distributing and applying the results.

IMO Publications -  This link will give you free access to some IMO and SOLAS publications. More will be put online soon. You must log in but there are no charges. Acrobat Reader is required and may be downloaded at the top of this page.

Lessons Learned and Safety Alerts - This Coast Guard page has a compilation of major studies and reports, safety alerts, lessons learned from casualties, and Det Norske Veritas casualty reports.

Maneuverability of Ships  - The IMO issued Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) Circular 1053, entitled Explanatory Notes to the Standards for Ship Maneuverability. The notes are intended to provide for uniform interpretation, application and consistent evaluation of the maneuvering performance of ships. (This is a pdf file for which you will need Adobe Reader. You can load Adobe Reader at the top of the page).

Manning Requirements -   If you have a question regarding manning of vessels, start with this page. It has the statutes, regulations, policies and some articles written on the subject.  An Acrobat Reader is required to view some of the documents.

MARAD - Extensive information and statistics on the US maritime.

MARAD specifications - The source to download all MARAD construction specifications.

Marine Information - A new site containing current information on the maritime industry worldwide.

MarineLink - The homepage of the Maritime Reporter magazine with links to other maritime homepages.

Marine Log - Homepage of the Marine Log publication

Marine Navigation Home Page - This web site appears to have little on it but use of the "search" feature or the "related links" will get you chart corrections, and many other nautical references. In the Publications section there is a dropdown box at the top which lists numerous maritime publications, etc. Explore and enjoy.

Marine Safety Organization - The United States Marine Safety Association has developed this web site that serves as a "Total Information Resource"  regarding the latest safety issues, technology issues, announcements by the Coast Guard and more.

Marine Traffic - This web site collects real time data on vessels world wide including location, track line, course & speed destination and more. Data is received from AIS data broadcast from all vessels over 300 GT as required under current. Public access to this data has been criticized by IMO but continues to be available.

Maritime Accident Podcasts - A resource for seafarers and those responsible for training and safety.

Maritime Executive - Web site of the magazine The Maritime Executive regarding ship building, repair and conversion.

Moon\Sun Rise, Set, Elevation and Azimuth   - This site will allow you to calculate the effect the moon or the sun may have on visibility in a marine accident.

Moon\Sun Tools and Resources for Calculations and Observations - This site has many links for obtaining information regarding sun and moon data.

Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines - Federal RegisterNavigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 4-08, and enclosures 1, 2, 3, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, and 6

National Data Buoy Center -  Source of historical marine weather at various points in the world.

National Transportation Safety Board -  Accident reports

National Transportation Safety Board - Data base of recommendations and action taken for all modes of transportation

National Ocean Service - A service of NOAA providing current and historical tides (water levels) and current information.

Navigation Center - Information on the Global Positioning System, LORAN, OMEGA, Local Notice to Mariners, Recreational Boating Safety, Ice Patrol bulletins and the ability to order charts.

NOAA - The homepage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Information on programs, access to information and data, links to NOAA Line and Program Offices.

OSHA - See separate web page in the table of contents on the left.

Passenger Vessel Safety Study -  This is a private 2001 Report on the Analysis of Safety Influences of passenger vessels

Personal Watercraft - California's how to operate a PWC safely.

Personal Watercraft - Boat US online course on PWC.

Personal Watercraft Education - Manufacturer's online safety schooling for PWC owners and operators.

Piracy - The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur investigates and reports on piracy. This site contains their weekly report as well as other information.

Prevention Through People -  This is a new program the Coast Guard instituted after the SUNSET LIMITED case when a tug hit the Amtrac bridge in Mobil resulting in the train derailing into the slew. It recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take steps to reduce human errors. See the Risk  Guide below.

Propeller Guards -  The U. S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Sprietsma v. Mercury Marine on December 3, 2002, holding that the Federal Boat Safety act does not pre-empt tort claims against manufacturers of outboard motors based on a failure to provide a propeller guard.

Propeller Guards - The amicus brief filed by the Maritime Law Association before the Supreme Court in the Sprietsma v Mercury Marine case above

Regulations, Coast Guard Proposals - Review regulatory proposals and comment on line on those with open dockets. Review past proposals and actions. 

Radio Tutorial - This online 35 minute online tutorial is an interactive run-down of everything a boater wants to know about using a marine VHF radio with Digital Selective Calling (DSC). It was funded by the Coast Guard and prepared by BoatUS. Make sure your speaker has been turned up.

Risk Based Decision Making - A Coast Guard site that will be of great value to management and to evaluating management's responsibility for their operations.

Risk Guide - Marine Operations Risk Guide may be of interest to your organization and marine operations.  This guide was developed by the US Coast Guard and  the Prevention Through People Subcommittee of the Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee. 

Risk Management and Situational Awareness - USCG Human Element & Ship Design Division. Link to their newsletter.

River Flow Data -  Information is available from the US Geological Service Internet  site on river flow, gage height, tide level, temperature and additional data. One seeking this information should first look at the tutorial to learn how to identify locations and site numbers necessary to get current and historical data.

River Dam Water Levels - Army COE data for flow and height of water in the Northwest - historical data

Rules of the Road  - This site is a complete set of the Rules of the Road, both the COLREGS and the Inland Rules. It is in pdf format and the user needs Acrobat Reader to download it.

Safeport Web Site A no-nonsense internet resource entitled Port Operations Information for Safety & Efficiency (POISE) with links to marine-related government agencies, port authorities, maritime exchanges.

Safety Alerts -  The U. S. Coast Guard web site for marine safety alerts in many subject  areas. 

Safety Alerts -  Safety Alerts are tools used by Minerals Management Service MMS to inform the offshore oil and gas industry of the circumstances surrounding an incident or a near miss. They also contain recommendations that should help prevent the recurrence of such an incident

Salvage Union, International (ISU) The site of the UK publisher of Tug and Salvage Magazine. News and developments in the salvage field.

San Francisco Boating -  This site has a lot of information on boating in the SFO Bay area. Most impressive is a live tracking display of vessels which are being tracked by the Coast Guard's VTS. Put the cursor over a vessel icon and a window pops up with data on the vessel.

Ship History - The Equasis Internet site has been launched by the European Union, with input from the U. S. Coast Guard and agencies in Europe. It contains factual information concerning ship characteristics and ship management. The three-year history of about 60,000 ships is based on information from port authorities, insurers, surveyors, unions and ship-owner organizations. Coast Guard data is also available directly from the Port State Information Exchange link above under Coast Guard. 

Ship Safety Bulletins -  Canada publishes Ship Safety Bulletins which are of interest in pointing out specific maritime risks that have been identified.

Small Vessel Security - Small Vessel Security Summits are being held to discuss the concerns and issues posed by small vessels being used by terrorists in the maritime domain of the United States.

Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc. - The SMA was formed in New York to assist the maritime industry in the resolution of disputes and the selection of qualified arbitrators. The SMA provides a list of 130 arbitrators.

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers - (SNAME). - This is the home page of the organization of people who design, and develop design standards for, ships and other vessels. It contains a listing of publications including periodicals, reference texts, and proceedings, job postings, SNAME committees and more.

Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping - (STCW) Links to web sites discussing these standards.

State Boating Administrators - Name, addresses and phone numbers for the person in charge of the administration of the state boating programs. 

State Pilot Jurisdiction - The Coast Guard lacks jurisdiction over state licensed pilots. While the Coast Guard is criticized when a pilot is negligent, in reality, it is the State which has jurisdiction over the licenses of State Pilots. Many states do not discipline negligent pilots.

Sun/moon rise, sun/moon set - Calculations by longitude and latitude or by city between 1975 and 2025 including altitude of sun for calculations of whether or not it effected an operator's vision. See also under "Moon" above.

Time Line of Vessels [recommended by Lucas]

Time - Get an accurate time tick for the naval observatory.

Towing Vessel Links - Sites at which proposals and recommendations for safety of the towing industry can be found

United States Marine Safety Association - The web page of USMSA, an association of manufacturers of marine equipment. Interesting information on national and international standards. 

Vessel in Navigation  - Martinez v Signature Seafoods 9th Cir Ct 11 Sept 2002. Held that a fish processing barge which is towed twice a year is a vessel in navigation.

Waves; freak or rogue - Links to sites discussing the frequency of these waves. European Space Agency link , Max Waves and WaMoS II

Weather - National Climatic Data Center is now online. In cases where Department of Commerce certification is NOT required, you may obtain various types of recent climatologically date from the NCDC web page Online Store at minimum cost. Have your credit card handy. 

Weather - Online climatologically data for $3 from the National Climate Data Center (NCDC). Information can be immediately downloaded.  This is a new site of the most requested formats. Most data only available from 1996.

Weather -  Oceanographic data, meteorological data, winds, flow rates of rivers, both current and historical data from shore and buoy stations..

Weather Abbreviations and Conversion Tables -   If you download weather from the above sites, you may want the de-codification of the symbols. This site also has conversion table for knots to MPH, Centigrade to Fahrenheit etc.


This page last updated 09/19/19