Safety at Sea – U.S. Coast Guard Marine Casualty and Pollution Data for Researchers

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is responsible for investigating reportable marine casualties, accidents, and serious marine incidents.  The relevant mission statement and specific regulations can be found on the USCG Investigations Division homepage.  After an incident has been reported, it is entered into a national database of all marine casualty and pollution incidents.  These important historical records can then be accessed by researchers interested in understanding maritime safety, accident prevention, or trends in certain types of maritime incidents through time.  Other agencies interested in maritime transportation performance measures rely on the USCG data to examine incident trends on U.S. waterways.  Files for the Marine Casualty and Pollution Data for Researchers datasets can be downloaded directly from the U.S. Coast Guard Homeport website by following the drop-down menu options on the homepage Missions: Investigations: Marine Casualty Pollution Investigations page at


As described by the USCG, “the Marine Casualty and Pollution Data files provide details about marine casualty and pollution incidents investigated by Coast Guard Offices throughout the United States. The database can be used to analyze marine accidents and pollution incidents by a variety of factors including vessel or facility type, injuries, fatalities, pollutant details, location, and date.  The data collection period began in 1982 for marine casualties and 1973 for polluting incidents, and is ongoing. Documentation includes entity and attribute descriptions along with suggested solutions to general marine pollution, vessel casualty, and personnel injury and death questions.”

Visitors to the USCG Homeport data download site should note that there are three files available fore download, but it is the second file on the list (named that contains all available marine casualty data from January 2002 – July 2015.  The files extracted from can be opened with most standard spreadsheet editing software programs.

Source: USCG Marine Casualty and Pollution Data,


Data.Gov Links Related to this topic:

USCG Marine Safety Information Data,

USCG Facility Pollution Database,


U.S. Coast Guard closed and unresolved incident investigations, 2002 - 2015 (part year)
U.S. Coast Guard closed and open incident investigations, 2002 through 2015 (part year).



By the numbers: port statistics for some of the largest U.S. ports

As intermodal connectors for domestic and international freight, our nation’s ports serve a critical role in numerous supply chains and the national economy. In recognition of this importance, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (P.L. 114-94; Dec. 4, 2015; 129 Stat. 1312) established a Port Performance Freight Statistics Program within the U.S. Department of Transportation: Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The first annual Port Performance Freight Statistics Program report provides descriptive statistics for a group of ports for year 2016, including the top 25 ports in terms of total tonnage, twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and dry bulk tonnage. The report is available to download at

The 2016 Port Performance report used multiple sources, including public datasets featured on Data.Gov. One foundational dataset used in the report is the total commercial tonnage carried on waterways published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.

Link to dataset: .

Example of cargo movement through a dry bulk cargo port terminal
            Typical infrastructure and cargo flow at a port terminal handling dry bulk cargo, such as coal.

Harvesting Grain Data

Author: Marin Kress, Research Scientist, Engineer Research and Development Center, USACE

This Grain Transportation Report: Rail Deliveries to Port dataset from the USDA provides the total number of rail carloads used in weekly grain shipments traveling to ports in five different regions of the country starting in 1994.  The five regions are Atlantic, East Gulf, Mississippi River, Texas Gulf, and Pacific.  In 2008 the dataset started recording cross border rail shipments in to Mexico.  Included with each record is start-of-week date, end-of-week date, and number week of year (1-52).  For users interested in learning about intermodal freight flows, agricultural exports, and how the marine transportation system supports American farmers this dataset is a great resource.

A glossary of terms used in the file is available from USDA at:

View Dataset link:


A Decade of Shipment Tonnage and Value Summaries

Trends in Recreational Boating Safety, U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Statistics Tool

The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for investigating accidents on coastal and inland waters and compiling the associated accident statistics. The USCG Boating Safety Resource Center has an online query tool for users to search and filter recreational boating accident statistics by location, year, and accident attributes such as type of vessel or body of water.  The available statistics cover 56 reporting jurisdictions (states and territories) for the years 2005-2015. Users can download their search results or take advantage of the chart creation features included on the website.

Link to dataset: