Boating Accident Report Forms
Accident Report Forms
Boating accident statistics are compiled under a state law requiring a boater who is involved in an accident to file a written accident report with the division in the case of:
Death, disappearance, or injury requiring medical attention beyond first aid; Damage to a vessel or other property exceeding $500; or complete loss of a vessel.
The purpose of this law is to provide a data base for accident analysis. Information contained in the reports is confidential and may not be used in prosecuting any violations which may have occurred, nor in civil litigation of any kind. The reports are a tool for identifying areas of concern so that DBW programs can be directed toward promoting boating safety, education and law enforcement in those areas. The details of each reported accident are analyzed to determine the cause, ways in which the accident might have been prevented, and specific safety-related problems. Methods and programs can then be developed to reduce accident and fatality rates.
Each year, DBW releases a comprehensive study of boating accidents in California, which provides information on accidents, fatalities, and injuries. This report, California Boating Accident Report, includes special topics such as personal watercraft, youth operators, and fatal alcohol-related accidents.
Vessel Accident Report (VAR) Form-Law Enforcement Use
When and How to Report a Boating Accident
Boating accident statistics are compiled under a state law requiring a boater who is involved in an accident to file a written accident report with the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) in the case of:
Death, disappearance or injury requiring medical attention beyond first aid
Damage to a vessel or other property exceeding $500; or
Complete loss of a vessel, regardless of value
Reports must be submitted to DBW within 48 hours of an accident that involves:
Death occurring within 24 hours of the accident
Disappearance of a person
Injury beyond first aid
Reports must be submitted within 10 days of an accident that involves:
A person who dies more than 24 hours after an accident occurs
Only property damage to vessels or property exceeding $500, or there is a complete loss of a vessel
The operator, owner, or, if neither are able, other party involved in an accident that fits one of the above criteria should complete a boating accident report (Form BAR-1)
Reports should be signed and mailed, or faxed to:
California Division of Boating and Waterways
Attn: Boating Accident Unit
One Capitol Mall, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 327-1772
When submitting reports by mail, keep a copy for your records.
DBW collects and analyzes boating accident reports to develop safety strategies and make recommendations in the interest of reducing boating accidents, injuries and fatalities on California’s waterways.
Information contained in the reports is confidential and may not be used in prosecuting any violations which may have occurred, nor in civil litigation of any kind.