Federal law requires the boat operator 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 or more (the amount may be lower in some states and territories; verify with local boating authorities)
- The Boat is destroyed
- If the boat operator is deceased or unable to make the report, the boat owner is required to file the report.
Your responsibility does not end with your own craft. You are required by law to respond to any distress signal, visual or auditory. Render immediate assistance, EXCEPT in instances in which you and your passengers will be endangered or those situations that exceed your capabilities or the capabilities of your boat. Good Samaritan protection is provided to boaters who provide good faith assistance and protects them from civil liability for assistance given.