Reporting Boating Accidents

June 6, 2022
Reporting Boating Accidents

Reporting Boating Accidents can be a little tricky.  Check out this blog to guide you through the process.  The key is to avoid an accident altogether so always be aware.  That is to say, always be hyper aware of your surroundings.

What is my responsibility?

In short, all operators of vessels involved in an accident must remain at the scene.  They can assist any other vessel or person involved in the accident if it is possible.  Always remember to do so without endangering your own vessel or anyone aboard.  The operator must also give his/her name, address and vessel identification number to the other boat operator(s) or owner(s) of the damaged property.

What Should I do?

The operator(s) of a vessel involved in a boating accident shall notify the nearest law enforcement agency.  They shall, within 48 hours after the accident, report the matter in writing on an official accident form .  So don’t waste time, you should fill the report out immediately following an accident.  Forms are provided by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Boating Division

What warrants an Accident Report?
  • First, the death of any person from whatever cause.
  • Second, the disappearance of any person from on board.
  • Third, the injury of any person sufficient to require medical attention beyond simple first aid.  IE.  Someone needs stitches or an x-ray.
  • Finally, any accident in which the total damages to all property affected is in excess of $500.  As a result, this must be reported by the operator within 5 days after the accident.  Use the forms provided by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Boating Division.
Who fills out the report?

The operator of the boat must make out the report.   If for any reason the operator cannot make out the report, the owner or survivor of the accident should initiate the report.  Note: operators are required to report, even if a law enforcement officer has also filed a report.  For forms or answers to questions, please contact the Boating Division at 860-434-8638.  Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.

Some Extras…

The need may arise to hand deliver your accident report.  The Connecticut Boating Divisions office is at 333 Ferry Road Old Lyme, CT 06371.  Indeed, you can also simply search the internet for Connecticut’s Boating  Accident Reporting Form.   We cover this topic in our Virtual Online Boating Classes.  Please view our Public Course Schedule to sign up for a class!