By Board of Directors Resolution No. 006-2007 of September 17, 2007, the new organizational structure of the Merchant Marine General Directorate integrating among others, the Marine Accident Investigation Department which is in charge of the investigations of marine casualties and incidents suffered by Panamanian Flag Vessels, as well as occurring within our territorial waters regardless of the vessel’s flag, which might pose a risk to human life or the environment, or has caused  loss of life, marine pollution or property damage or involving search  and rescue authorities of the State or any other event that needs to be investigated.

Likewise all our personnel are highly trained and have experience in nautical engineering disciplines, and contingency plans. Also, the DIAM has the administrative staff in charge of the financial aspects, nominations, files, data analysis and publications, providing general support to researchers in every single phase of administrative inquiries, preliminary reports and thorough investigations.


Our main objective is conducting research on Maritime Safety Casualties and Incidents directly related to the operation of the vessel, occurring in our territorial waters regardless of the vessel flag. The investigation will determine the causes and factors of the accident and marine incident which contributed to the accident and make relevant recommendations in order to prevent hazardous situations and similar threats in the future. Our guidelines are based on Nº106-135-DGMM resolution of September 9, 2013 of the Panama Maritime Authority, Resolution MSC. 255 (84), adopted on May 16, 2008 and Resolution A.1025 (26) adopted on December 2, 2009.



A marine casualty means an event, or a sequence of events, that has resulted in any of the following which has occurred directly in connection with the operations of a ship:

  • The death of, or serious injury to, a person;
  • The loss of a person from a ship;
  • The loss, presumed loss or abandonment of a ship;
  • Material damage to a ship;
  • The stranding or disabling of a ship, or the involvement of a ship in a collision;
  • Material damage to marine infrastructure external to a ship, that could seriously endanger the safety of the ship, another ship or an individual; or
  • Severe damage to the environment, or the potential for severe damage to the environment, brought about by the damage of a ship or ships.

However, a marine casualty does not include a deliberate act or omission, with the intention to cause harm to the safety of a ship, an individual or the environment.


Eng. Daniel Jaramillo
Chief of Marine Accident Investigation Department
Telephone: (507) 501-5039

Eng. Gonzalo Cortez
Deputy Chief of Marine Accident Investigation Department
Telephone: (507) 501-5087


Human factor research is generally focused on the analysis of human cognitive abilities and limitations. This includes constructs such as attention, memory, decision-making, action, skilled performance, and stress. Greater understanding of this area enables us to reduce errors and accidents caused by technology. It also helps investigators understand how accidents happen and assists in determining suitable recommendations.


Which accidents need to be reported?

All marine accidents and incidents that threaten life at sea and the pollution of the marine environment need to be reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Department (DIAM) by Captains, Operators, Owners, Recognized Organizations, Legal Representatives, Panama Canal, Segumar and State Coastal Administrations. These accidents may be notified by the most efficient possible way such as emails, faxes and phone calls.

These notifications should be sent to our offices by filling out our preliminary report form available at our department.

In addition, should be sent completely filled out to Marine Accident Investigation Department the following formats:.


Panama Fleet (2010 – 2017)

Year Fleet (ship´s quantity)
2010 7986
2011 8130
2012 8124
2013 8166
2014 8092
2015 8122
2016 8094
2017 8017

Marine Accidents / Reported VS Investigated (From 2010 – 2017)

Year Reported Accidents Investigated Accidents
2010 309 72
2011 320 54
2012 289 66
2013 261 103
2014 265 70
2015 321 25
2016 372 26
2017 285 34