Case studies

Gard regularly publishes case studies for safety meetings focussing on the risk assessment process and identification of the chain of errors that led to a particular incident. The purpose is to provide ships’ officers and crew with a tool to improve experience transfer and safety awareness.


Each Gard case study consists of a short story describing a common operation onboard most ships and a risk assessment form. The crew should read the story and ask themselves “Could that accident have taken place onboard our ship?” before considering what mitigating or preventative factors might be put in place.

  • March 2023: Grounding incident
  • May 2021: Engine fire and failure of fixed fire fighting systems
  • September 2020: Importance of checking BDN before signing
  • April 2020: Grounding incident and damage to buoy in the Suez Canal
  • April 2019: Loss of containers and hatch cover in heavy weather
  • January 2019: Illegal garbage disposal in the Great Barrier Reef
  • June 2018: Cyber security - safety of the crew
  • February 2018: Use of fixed and portable fire extinguishers
  • June 2017: Tank cleaning
  • March 2017: Power operated watertight doors - safety of the ship
  • March 2017: Power operated watertight doors - safety of the crew
  • March 2017: Crane operation and maintenance
  • October 2016: Pigging operation on chemical tankers
  • July 2016: Engine room fire
  • March 2016: Anchor awareness
  • December 2015: Lifeboat safety drills and maintenance
  • September 2015: Have you checked your ECDIS lately?
  • July 2015: Pilotage
  • Jun 2015: Anchor handling operations – chain parting on main deck
  • Dec 2014: Entry into enclosed space
  • Nov 2014: Engine breakdown
  • Sep 2014: Grounding
  • Jul 2014: Offshore loading operations
  • May 2014: Bridge management
  • Dec 2013: Liquid cargo sampling
  • Oct 2013: Dangers of power operated watertight doors
  • Jul 2013: Single watchkeeping
  • Jun 2013: Heavy weather
  • Apr 2013: Task overload
  • Dec 2012: Fuel treatment
  • Jun 2012: Collision with fishing vessel
  • May 2012: Fumigation of bulk cargoes
  • Mar 2012: ECDIS familiarisation
  • Dec 2011: Offshore vessel manoeuvring close to rig
  • Sep 2011: Voyage planning
  • May 2011: Dragging anchors
  • Mar 2011: Lines in the water
  • Nov 2010: Distractions
  • Oct 2010: Mooring operations
  • Aug 2010: Look-out
  • Jul 2010: Riding crew
  • Jun 2010: Anchoring and prevailing weather conditions
  • Apr 2010: Hot work
  • Mar 2010: Monkey fists and heaving lines
  • Feb 2010: Securing anchors
  • Jan 2010: Bad bunkers
  • Dec 2009: The dangers of lifeboats
  • Nov 2009: Pilotage
  • Oct 2009: Lashing of transferred stores
  • Sep 2009: Working aloft
  • Aug 2009: Handling alarms
  • Jul 2009: Piracy attack
  • Jun 2009: Oil record book
  • May 2009: OOW falling asleep
  • Apr 2009: Stevedoring operations
  • Mar 2009: Moored vessel breaking out from its berth
  • Feb 2009: Bunkering
  • Jan 2009: Fire in the engine room 

The case studies are only distributed to Gard's Members and clients who subscribe to our updates. To subscribe, please register online or contact the Loss Prevention team at

MARS reports from the Nautical Institute

Gard is pleased to be a sponsor of the Nautical Institute Mariners' Alerting and  Reporting Scheme (MARS). MARS is primarily a confidential reporting system run by The Nautical Institute to allow full reporting of accidents (and near misses) without fear of identification or litigation. As a free service to the industry, MARS reports also regularly comprise alerts condensed from official industry sources, so that issues resulting from recent incidents can be efficiently relayed to the mariner on board. With access to the internet from vessels becoming more affordable, the MARS database is a valuable risk assessment, work planning, loss prevention tool and training aid for crew and management.

Monthly MARS reports will be added to this webpage once published, however, the MARS database can also be searched on the Nautical Institute Website when all of the MARS reports related to a specific word or phrase, or a particular report are to be reviewed.

MARS 376 February 2024
MARS 375 January 2024

MARS 374 December 2023

MARS 373 November 2023

MARS 372 October 2023

MARS 371 September 2023