Table of Contents

Download the PDF Version

It's the Law

Boating Accidents


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.

You cannot be held liable for any civil damages for any assistance rendered in good faith and in a prudent manner.

Vessel operators involved in an accident must report it by the quickest means possible if the accident results in:

  • Death or the disappearance of a person from a vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury or…
  • Injury requiring first aid or medical attention or…
  • Property damage exceeding $2,000 to all vessels, docks, etc. involved in the accident.

In the case of a reportable accident, the operator or owner must file an accident report form supplied by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Most reports of accidents must be made within 5 days of the accident. However, you must report an accident within 48 hours if a person:

  • Dies within 24 hours as a result of the accident or…
  • Is disabled for more than 24 hours or…
  • Requires medical treatment for injuries or…
  • Disappears from a vessel.