The sole objective of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy investigation is to ascertain the causes and circumstances of a particular accident in order to prevent future accidents. The Ministry does not apportion blame or liability and fulfils its mandate by examining incidents, investigating any wider implications for safety at sea and publishing the investigation reports. These reports may lead to the Ministry making safety recommendations to relevant people or organisations including the Barbados Maritime Ship Registry (BMSR), classification societies, owners/operators and others. Before publication, the draft reports are sent out to anyone whose reputation may be affected so they have the opportunity to correct any factual inaccuracies in the draft report.
Investigations are conducted in accordance with the Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident, as adopted by IMO.
A person appointed by the Minister as an inspector of marine casualties has legal powers under both the Shipping Act and subordinate legislation which include the right to interview anyone they consider to have information relevant to the investigation.