Chapter 4: The Legal Requirements of
Boating Accidents and Casualties—What
Requires You To Do
An operator involved in a boating accident must:
- Stop his or her vessel immediately at the scene of the accident and …
- Assist anyone injured or in danger from the accident, unless doing so would seriously endanger his or her own vessel or passengers and …
- Give, in writing, his or her name, address, and vessel identification to anyone injured and to the owner of any property damaged by the accident.
If the accident results in the death or disappearance of a person, the following actions must be taken.
- The vessel operator must make immediate notification to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) by the quickest means possible (you may call 1-800-662-7137). The notification should consist of:
- Date, time, and exact location of the accident
- Name(s) of each person who died or disappeared in the accident
- Number and name of the vessel
- Names and addresses of the vessel owner and operator
- If the operator of the vessel is unable to make immediate notification, each person on board must notify the NCWRC unless he or she is certain that the notice has already been given.
An accident report form must be submitted to the NCWRC if the accident results in any of the following:
- Loss of life
- Injury to a person requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
- Property damage (including damage to vessels) in excess of $2000
- Disappearance of a person from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
Reports of deaths, disappearances, or injuries must be submitted within 48 hours of the accident; reports in other cases must be submitted within 10 days of the accident. If the operator is unable to submit the accident report form, the owner is required to submit it.
Accident reports are not admissible as evidence in criminal court.