It's the Law

Boating Accidents


An operator involved in a boating accident must:

  • Stop their vessel immediately at the scene of the accident and …
  • Assist anyone injured in the accident, unless doing so would endanger his or her own vessel or passengers.

Every vessel operator involved in a reportable accident must notify the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) immediately. The operator also must file a written accident report form with TWRA.

The accident report form must be filed within 48 hours if:

  • A person dies or disappears or …
  • Someone is injured requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.

The accident report form must be filed within ten days if damage exceeds $2,000.

Accident report forms are available from any TWRA office or on the TWRA website at www.tn.gov/twra/.

Failure to report a boating accident is a criminal offense and may result in prosecution by TWRA.