When Are You Required to File a BOATING ACCIDENT REPORT?
By: Chief Warrant Officer Jim Krzenski
Commanding Officer, U.S. Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce, FL
You've just enjoyed a beautiful day of boating and are now enroute to the boat ramp. As you approach the ramp your throttle gets stuck in forward causing you to collide with the dock. Your boat receives $2050.00 worth of fiberglass hull damage but, thankfully, no one was injured. Are you required to submit an accident report? By law you are required to file a formal written report of the accident.
A formal written accident report is required to be filed when the following situations occur:
- Life is lost due to the accident.
- Someone is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid.
- There is a complete loss of the vessel or damage to the vessel and property exceeding $2000. (Many states have set a limit less than $2000 - contact the local state boating authority to determine the amount).
- Any person on board a vessel disappears (under circumstances indicating death or injury).
Boating Accident Reports are required to be filed within:
- 48 hours of the occurrence or if a person dies within one day (24 hours)
- 48 hours if a person is injured and medical treatment beyond first aid is required.
- 10 days if there is only damage to the vessel and/or property.
Please call the Coast Guard's Customer Info line, 1-(800) 366-5647, to obtain information about required forms and where to submit them, You can also find the date and location of the Coast Guard Auxiliary's next Boating Skills and Seamanship Course. If you or someone you know is interested in an exciting career, the United States Coast Guard is hiring. Please call 1-800-Get USCG.
May all your boating be safe!