All vessel accidents (or accidents that meet the criteria below) must be reported by the operator or owner of the vessel to the proper marine law enforcement authority for the state in which the accident occurred. Check with your state’s boating agency for any specific accident reporting requirements. Many states have requirements such as the following.
- Immediate notification is required for fatal accidents. If a person dies or disappears as a result of a recreational vessel accident, the nearest state boating authority must be notified without delay. The following information must be provided:
- Date, time, and exact location of the accident
- Name of each person who died or disappeared
- HIN and name of the vessel
- Name and address of the owner and operator
- If a person dies or there are injuries requiring more than first aid, a formal report also must be filed within 48 hours.
- For accidents involving more than $2,000 in damage or complete loss of a vessel, a formal report must be made within 10 days. (Note: Many states require accidents to be reported for damage less than $2,000.)