What is the Responsibility of the Master after Abandoning a Ship?

The Master is the overall in charge of a vessel at all times, even when he and his crew have to leave or abandon the vessel due to accidents such as fire, flooding, or collision.



When a mishap occurs and the extent of damage to the ship results in “Abandon the ship” order by the master, the crew must muster and leave the ship within no time using lifeboat or life raft.

Once all the crew is at a safe distance from the abandoned ship or are rescued by other ship or rescue team, the master performs the following duties-

  • Request the rescue team or ship to cancel the May day order
  • Communicate the reason for abandoning the ship and request to issue a navigational warning as the abandoned ship may be a threat to other vessels.
  • Count the number of crew rescued and report it to the nearest coastal authority.
  • All information about accidents and survivors must be provided to the company and P & I club official once the recued team reaches the nearest port.
  • Prepare a complete report of the event that lead to the accident, along with other senior officers and submit it to company and Maritime Accident Investigation authority.


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  1. Sathish Kumar says

    What about the documents of seafarers like CDC, Passport etc.? If these documents are destroyed how a seafarer can return back to his country and how he can get back new documents?

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