It's the Law

Boating Accidents


An operator involved in a boating accident resulting in death, injury, or damage to the boat(s) or other property exceeding $2,000 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.

A vessel operator is required to make a verbal and written report whenever a boating accident results in:

  • Loss of life or disappearance of a person or…
  • Injury to any person or…
  • Property damage in excess of $2,000.

Verbal reports must be made immediately to a DNR conservation warden or a local law enforcement officer.

A written report must be submitted within 10 days on a DNR Form 4100-20 to DNR-Boat Safety, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707. Visit dnr.wi.gov and enter the keywords “boat crash” to obtain the Operator Boating Incident Report form.