Maritime accidents: rules for investigative interviews

This was originally post by Maritime Accident Casebook’s Bob Couttie in LinkedIn. According to him, it came to light “when was originally written when the US objected to seafarers being advised of their rights to legal representation and cautioned against self incrimination in the draft of the new investigation code”.

  1. A rubber hose does not make a good investigator.
  2. Waterboarding is not best practice.
  3. Do not play with your sidearm while interviewing witnesses.
  4. Administering pentothal is not recommended practice.
  5. Phrases such as “I know where your children go to school” are best avoided.
  6. Do not ask which finger the interviewee would prefer to have broken.
  7. Ensure that any electrical equipment used on an interviewee is inherently safe, properly grounded and has been verified as safe by a marine electrician.
  8. Do not shout at interviewees unless they are deaf.
  9. Ensure that any dentist present is properly qualified and wearing ear protectors
  10. At the end of the interview count the interviewee’s fingers, toes and limbs and, if appropriate, private parts as you may be held accountable for any subsequently determined discrepancy.

And a special final rule for the U.S.:

11. “Miranda? What freakin’ Miranda” is not appropriate in a maritime accident investigation.


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One response to “Maritime accidents: rules for investigative interviews

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