In case of shipwreck


In case of new wrecks

When a ship sinks, goes aground or is stranded, the master of the ship must, as quickly as possible, inform the Marine Assistance Service (MAS) by email: vfk@mil.dk and the Danish Maritime Authority's watchkeeping mate by email: vagts@dma.dk, telephone +45 7219 6040, about the accident. The vessel becomes a wreck in the legal sense, and the procedure to be followed is regulated in accordance with consolidated act no. 838 of 10 August 2009 on additions to the act on wreckage of 10 April 1895.

Warnings to ships

Immediately after having received a notice about the shipwreck, the Danish Maritime Authority transmits a warning to ships about the wreck.

Marking of the wreck

If it is considered that the wreck presents a risk to other ships, despite the warning transmitted to ships, the Danish Maritime Authority can require that the owner marks the wreck within a given deadline. If this is not possible for the owner, the Danish Maritime Authority can mark it at the owner's expense.

Does the wreck present a risk or a major inconvenience to ship traffic or to fishing activities?

If the wreck is considered to present a risk or a major inconvenience to ship traffic or to fishing activities, the Danish Maritime Authority can subsequently require that the owner removes the wreck within a more detailed deadline. If the owner does not observe this order, the Danish Maritime Authority can have the wreck removed at the owner's expense.

The owner is liable for all the expenses incurred by the Danish Maritime Authority in connection with a wreck

According to the addition to the act on wreckage, the owner of the wreck is liable for all the expenses incurred by the Danish Maritime Authority in connection with marking and wreck removal. Please observe that normally ships' liability insurance does not cover wreck removal, aids to navigation, etc. Normally, this will be covered only if hull insurance has been taken out. 

Does the wreck constitute a risk to the environment?

If the wreck is considered to contain liquids or materials that could, in the longer or shorter term, be of damage to the environment, the MAS can - on behalf of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency - require these to be removed.

Does the wreck present a risk to fixed installations or coastal protection?

If the wreck is considered to present a risk of damage to fixed installations or coastal protection, the Danish Coastal Authority can order the wreck to be removed.

Does the wreck not present a risk or inconvenience to the above?

If the wreck does not present a risk or inconvenience to ships, fishing, the environment, fixed installations or coastal protection, the wreck will not be required to be salvaged and it must instead be plotted in the chart. This is done by the wreck and any marking of the wreck being published in Notices to Mariners and subsequently being published as chart corrections.

 Related contents

 Kontakt

Safety of Navigation, National Waters
Jan Ole Anker, Nautical Adviser
+45 72 19 61 84