Boating Accident Program
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.