Washington Law requires a boat operator or owner to do a Boating Accident Report when:
- There is damage of over $500;
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid;
- There is loss of life; or
- There is a disappearance of a person who was recreationally boating.
Boating Accident Report forms are available from the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol or the Washington State Department of Parks and Recreation. They are also available on line.
Serious accidents, crimes or disappearances are investigated by the Seattle Police Harbor Patrol or whatever agency has jurisdiction over the incident. Jurisdiction is based on where the accident occurs.
If you are in a boating accident, you must offer practical assistance to save the people aboard the boat which is in trouble from danger when involved in a boating accident when doing so, does not seriously endanger your own boat and passengers. The boating accident report you complete cannot be used against you. If you have concerns about a boating accident you were involved in, contact an attorney. Miller Law Group can help.
Washington State law has a “Good Samaritan” clause for people who offer help in a boating accident or emergency which says that:
“Under no circumstances may the rendering of assistance or other compliance with this section be evidence of the liability of such operator for the collision, accident or casualty. Any person who … in good faith renders assistance at the scene of a vessel collision, accident or other casualty, without objection of the person assisted, shall be not held liable for any civil damages as a result of the rendering of assistance or for any act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment, or other assistance, where the assisting persons act as any reasonable, prudent person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.”