Accident Reporting

Federal law requires the boat operator to submit a casualty or accident report to the State reporting authority when as a result of an occurence that involves the vessel or its equipment . If the operator is unable to submit the report then the owner must submit the report.

  • 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).
  • The boat is destroyed.

The information you provide is used to establish regulations and safety standards, identify
and remedy boat defects, educate recreational boaters, capture statistical data, investigate
accidents, and measure the effectiveness of boating safety programs.

Accident Reporting Forms

Forms may be found on the Coast Guard’s Directive and Publications Division Website at or entering the form numbers into a web search engine.

CG-3865 Recreational Boating Accident Report

CG-3865-SP Reporte Del Accidente En Barcos De Recreación

Most states and territories accept this form, although some have their own. 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’s primary boating authority.

A listing of contacts for the state’s primary boating authority may be found at Reports are generally sent to the Boat Accident Report Database administrator.

Please see 33 CFR 173.51, Casualty and Accident Reporting for further information.

Florida law requires anyone born after 1987 to take a Boating Safety Course, click here to take the course on-line.