Accident reconstruction is a branch of causation forensics which involves determining how and why an accident happened. It is accomplished first by carefully interpreting the clues left by the remaining physical evidence of the accident, then by reconstructing and studying the events preceding, during, and following the accident.
Accident reconstructions are methodically worked backwards time-wise, from the end results back to the beginning sequence of events.
Watercraft and marine accidents pose a special challenge to an investigator. Usually there is very little evidence on the water itself and most of the evidence is contained in the damaged boats, objects struck and people’s recollections. This category of crash requires highly specialized understanding of vessels and the environment they operate in and their relation to the rules of navigation.