Boating is a fun and satisfying experience, but it is not without its risks. Accordingly, all boat owners must be fully aware of proper safety measures and how to avoid accidents.
In the event of an accident, boaters must also be aware of federal guidelines for accident reporting. Certain incidents require the filing of an accident report in a timely manner, so here are some important points to keep in mind.
What type of incidents must you report?
Circumstances dictate whether you must file an accident report after an incident on your boat. Federal law requires accident reports when a person dies because of a boating accident, needs medical treatment for their injuries (other than basic first aid), or disappears from the boat with the presumption of death or serious injury.
Damage to the boat can also require a report. This is the case if the boat is completely destroyed or if property damage related to the crash equals $2,000 or more.
How soon do you have to report boating accidents?
Timelines for reporting accidents vary based on the specifics of the situation. In some cases, boaters must report the accident within 48 hours when a person aboard the vessel experiences injuries that require medical attention or dies as a result of the accident within 24 hours of it occurring. The 48-hour timeframe also applies to instances where a person goes missing during an accident.
If these factors do not apply, you must file the accident report within ten days of the incident or a person’s death resulting from it. Timely accident reporting is crucial for the safety of all boaters, as it helps establish new laws and regulations.