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Contact:June Iljana
(916) 651-5692
email: pubinfo@parks.ca.gov

November 28, 2006

"DBW Offers Advanced Accident Investigation Course"

SACRAMENTO--The California Department of Boating and Waterways is expanding its Marine Law Enforcement Training Program by developing a 40-hour Advanced Accident Investigation Course. 

“There were 800 recreational boating accidents in California in 2005,” said Raynor Tsuneyoshi, director of the California Department of Boating and Waterways. “Understanding how accidents are happening helps us address our education and enforcement efforts accordingly.”

DBW currently offers a basic boating accident investigation course that is designed for officers who have been on marine patrol for a minimum of one year. The advanced course will cater to officers who have taken the basic course and need further specialized training in boating accident investigation and reconstruction. 

A major element of the course will be a new state-of-the-art 3-D animation software package to help reconstruct various crash scenarios that could not be safely demonstrated. “The 3-D animation allows instructors to enter details of an accident including speed, type of vessel, environmental effects such as water and wind conditions, and adjust the yaw, roll and pitch based on the investigator’s evidence data and the system will recreate that exact accident,” explained Mary Thomas, who coordinates DBW’s Enforcement Training Program. “That allows officers to see what an accident of that nature looks like so they will recognize it when they see it in person.”

Other subject matter topics include elements of an investigation, physical reconstruction, evidence identification and processing, kinetic energy, purpose and uses of a CAD system, actual vessel collisions and examinations, operational law violation elements in criminal cases and a mock trial.

“Every tool we can use to make the training more thorough benefits the boating public,” Tsuneyoshi said. “We are looking forward to hearing from the officers in the pilot course to see what they think of it.” The curriculum has been submitted to the Commission on California Peace Officer Standards and Training for certification. The pilot course is scheduled for March 2007 in Northern California.

For further information on California’s Law Enforcement Training Program, please visit www.dbw.ca.gov

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Editor: Below are captions for the available photos. Sample photos inserted for review only. Contact jiljana@parks.ca.gov for hi resolution versions.

If it’s your boat, it’s your responsibility. Take a boating safety course.

“Aground” – Boating accidents often have a variety of contributing factors, which accident investigators have to uncover and sift through to determine how and why an accident happened.
 Boating Vessel beached
“Details” – Deputy Rick Rutherford, a boating safety instructor for DBW, reviews specific collision evidence to a Basic Investigation class at Lake Tulloch. DBW will soon offer these officers a one-week advanced course featuring greater depth of detail and realism.
Office teaching boating accident investigations.
“Demonstration” – Deputy Phil Ross, demonstrates a common accident scenario for a DBW Basic Investigation Course at Lake Tulloch.   
A demonstration of a boating accident