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Reporting a Boating Accident
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Reporting a Boating Accident
Home Boating Reporting a Boating Accident
As the operator of a vessel, you are required by law to file a formal, written report of your boating accident with the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) under certain circumstances.
Boating Accident Report Form
When a Report is Required
A formal, written report must be filed with DWR when there is:
damage over $2000 by or to the vessel or its equipment;
injury (requiring medical help beyond first aid) or loss of life; and/or
disappearance of any person on board a vessel.
Failure to report boating accidents as specified above shall be punishable as a Class 4 Misdemeanor. When a person dies or disappears as a result of an occurrence that involves a vessel or its equipment, the operator is required by law to notify the Department of Wildlife Resources in Richmond, Virginia, or the most immediately available Department Conservation Police Officer without delay and by the quickest means possible.
Time Frame for Reporting
Reports must be filed within the following time frames from the boating accident:
48 hours if there is loss of life within 24 hours of the accident;
48 hours if a person involved is injured and cannot perform usual activities;
48 hours if a person disappears;
10 days if an earlier report is not required but becomes necessary; and/or
10 days if the boat or property damage is in excess of $2000 or total boat loss.
How to Report an Accident
Boating Accident Report Forms can be obtained from this website, local law enforcement authorities, Department Conservation Police Officers, and all Department offices. You may submit the completed forms in person or send them to:
Law Enforcement Division — Boating Accident
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
P.O. Box 90778 Henrico, VA 23228
The boat operator or owner usually completes the form unless she/he is physically unable to do so.
Call the Law Enforcement Division at the Department of Wildlife Resources if you have difficulty completing an accident report form (Central Office in Richmond, 804-367-1000).To report an accident that has just occurred, please contact the DWR Dispatch Section at (804) 367-1000. A Conservation Police Officer will be dispatched to the scene to investigate the accident.
Why Report an Accident
Reporting boating accidents is required by law in the specific situations mentioned (see “When a Report is Required“). The information you submit is used to determine safer boating practices which are then shared with the boating public, boat manufacturers and equipment manufacturers. The details you provide may prevent another boater from having a similar accident. Thank you for your cooperation with the law and in helping others.
Duty to Stop and Render Assistance
It is the duty of every operator involved in a collision to stop and offer assistance. Operators involved in a collision who knowingly fail to comply with this law when the collision or accident results in serious bodily injury to, or the death of, any person, shall be guilty of a Class 6 Felony. When the collision or accident results in only property damage, the operator who does not comply with this law shall be guilty of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Damage of less than $50 to an unattended vessel is punishable by a maximum $50 fine.
Reporting an Accident
Reporting an Accident
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.)
Accident Reporting Questions?
If you need further information regarding accident reporting, visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s boating safety website.
Michigan's Boat Accident Reporting Laws & Requirements BOATsmart! Knowledgebase
Learn about Michigan's boat accident reporting requirements. Include information on how, when and where to file the boat accident report form.
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Michigan’s Boat Accident Reporting Requirements
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WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN A BOAT ACCIDENT
According to Michigan’s boat accident reporting requirements, the operator of a boat involved in a boating accident is required to:
Stop their boat at the scene.
Render assistance to any person who has been injured or who is in danger so long as they can do so without risking their safety or their passenger’s safety.
Provide their name, address and boat information in writing to any person who was injured and to the owner of any property that was damaged as a result of the accident.
Accidents must be reported by the quickest means possible, without delay to the nearest County Sheriff, Police Post, or Conservation Officer if:
A person is killed.
A person disappears from the boat.A written accident report form must be filed with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) within 48 hours if:
A person dies with 24 hours of the incident.
A person loses consciousness, requires medical treatment, or is disabled for more than 24 hours as a result of the accident.A written accident report form must be filed with the MDNR within 5 days if:
Damage to property as a result of the accident totals more than $2,000.
A person disappears from the boat, indicating death or injury.