Federal law requires the operator – or owner, if the operator is deceased or unable to make the report – to file a boating accident report with the State reporting authority when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:
- A person dies
- A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
- Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more
- The boat is destroyed.
You can help the Coast Guard and its boating safety partners to save lives by understanding and complying with this requirement.
Download an online fillable accident reporting form here.
Most states and territories accept this form. If you have an accident, file the form within 48 hours for a fatal accident or within 10 days for a non-fatal reportable accident with your state or territorial Boating Law Administrator.