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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.

The operator of a vessel is required to submit a written report to the Massachusetts Environmental Police whenever an accident results in:

  • The death of a person or…
  • The disappearance of a person under circumstances that indicate the possibility of death or injury or…
  • Any injury requiring medical attention or…
  • Property damage exceeding $500.

Accidents resulting in death or serious injury must be reported to the Massachusetts Environmental Police within 48 hours. All other accident reports must be submitted within five days.

Accidents should be reported on a Boating Accident Report form available from the Massachusetts Environmental Police or on the Internet at: www.mass.gov/ole