Report an accident or incident Report an accident or incident

Report accidents, incidents or serious harm injury

It is your legal obligation to report any accident, incident or serious harm injury (legally defined as a "mishap") to Maritime New Zealand and Harbourmaster as soon as possible after it occurs. Failing to report is an offence. Find out more on the Maritime NZ website.

Definitions of an accident, incident or serious harm injury

  • Accidents - include damage to a vessel which may affect its strength or seaworthiness, groundings, collisions, machinery failures and steering loss.
  • Incidents - include a near collision or a near grounding.
  • Serious harm injuries (legally defined as mishaps) - include but not limited to, amputation of a body part, burns, loss of consciousness, and any harm that causes a person to be hospitalized for a period of 48 hours or more. A small cut or sprain are considered minor injuries and do not have to be reported.

The owner or person in charge of a vessel must provide a report if the vessel is involved in an accident or incident on navigable water that results or could result in:

  • damage to another vessel, a navigation aid or any structure;
  • a vessel to be sunk or grounded;
  • a vessel to become unseaworthy; or
  • injury to any person.

How to report

The Director of Maritime New Zealand can be contacted by: phoning the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ) on 0508-4-72269 or by contacting the Maritime Operations Centre on VHF Channel 16. Following an initial call, a report must be made online.

Report an accident or incident online to Maritime NZ

The Harbourmaster can be contacted by phone 09 362 0397 or email

Harbour emergencies

Description Contact
  • Marine spills of oil, petrol or diesel
  • Search and rescue
  • Medical emergencies
  • Crime and disorder (offenders)
  • National security

Immediately call the Harbourmaster on 09 362 0397 for the 24 hour emergency duty officer.

VHF call channel 16

Call Emergency services on 111.

For non-emergencies which do not require urgent Police assistance call 105.

A full list of activities handled by the Police Maritime Unit can be found on the New Zealand Police website.

Find out about reporting other non-emergency issues.