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It's the Law

Accidents and Casualties


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, or each person on board, must report an occurrence without delay, and by the quickest means available, to the nearest conservation officer, sheriff of the county, or nearest state police post when:

  • A person dies or …
  • A person disappears from a vessel.

The operator or the owner of a vessel involved in a boating accident must file an accident report form supplied by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

  • The form must be filed within 48 hours if:
    • A person dies within 24 hours of the occurrence or …
    • A person loses consciousness, receives medical treatment, or is disabled for more than 24 hours.
  • The form must be filed within five days if:
    • Damage to the vessel and other property damage totals more than $2,000 or …
    • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury.