The Maritime Department at the Estonian Safety Investigation Board (ESIB) was implemented 1st of January 2012. The sole purpose of investigating an accident is to clarify the actual sequence of events leading to the accident to determine its circumstances and causes. The aim of the investigation is to improve safety at sea and avoid accidents in the future. It is not the investigations task to establish blame or liability.
In accordance with legislation, the Maritime Department of ESIB investigates:
- Casualties involving ships carrying Estonian flag,
- marine casualties in Estonian territorial waters regardless of the flag(s) of the ship(s) involved,
- Casualties with foreign ships in other waters if Estonian Jurisdiction can be applied in accordance with International law.
Maritime casualties involving the interest of Estonian Republic might occur all over the world. International cooperation is necessary to conduct a comprehensive investigation. The safety recommendations from investigations are aimed to contribute in world-wide shipping safety. The cooperation might vary from a fully combined investigation to simply acquiring or rendering assistance to the Chief Investigator of a Country who conducts the investigation according to the IMO Code principles.
The safety recommendations are published as a part of the final report or as a preliminary safety notice when necessary.
Estonian Maritime Safety Act is in line with IMO Code and EU directive 2009/18/EC. It was implemented 1st of January 2012 and will be made available in English in the near future when the official translation is published.