REPORTING BOATING ACCIDENTS

By law, all recreational boating accident reports (see link at bottom of this page) have to be filed by the operator, and in case of operator incapacity, the owner of each and every pleasure craft involved in a marine casualty. For recreational vessels, the statute, HRS Section 200-29 and Hawaii Administrative Rules, Section 13-242-5 makes the Boating Accident Report and accompanying investigations confidential and not public record for use in litigation. All commercial vessels must report casualties to the Coast Guard per Federal regulations applicable to the vessel on form CG-2692. A boating accident report has to be filed with the State if the vessel is used for recreational purposes in the following instances:

1. Loss of life or the disappearance of any person;2. injury, causing any person to require medical treatment beyond first aid; 3. actual damage to any vessel or to any other property is in excess of $200.

A marine casualty may include: capsizing, flooding, grounding, falls overboard or onboard, other injuries incurred while aboard a vessel. For loss of life or disappearance, the notification and report is to be submitted within (48) hours. For all other accidents, within (7) days. Commercial vessel casualties must be reported to the Coast Guard as soon as possible after the occurrence on form CG-2692 and within (5) days of the occurrence. The casualties that must be reported are described in the Federal regulations applicable to the type of commercial operations. By calling the appropriate agency listed below one may report the incident and obtain the report form for completion and submittal in the required time period stated above.  

For recreational vessels: Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation, 4 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

During working hours: (808) 587-1972 FAX: (808) 587-1977 For commercial vessels: U. S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Investigations Division 433 Ala Moana Blvd. (Pier 4) Honolulu. Hawaii 96813 24-hours: (808) 842-2600 For Neighbor Islands: Contact a county police officer or the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation District Office or the U. S. Coast Guard 24-hours number.   Section 1. Definition of a Boating Accident

“Boating Accident” means a collision, accident, or other casualty involving: 

a. The death or disappearance of any person;b. Loss of consciousness, medical treatment or disability of any person in excess of 24 hours; c. Physical damage to property in excess of $200; or d. The loss or disappearance of a vessel.

A vessel shall be considered to be involved in a “boating accident” whenever the occurrence results in damage by or to the vessel or its equipment in excess of $200; and injury causing loss of consciousness, medical treatment or disability of any person in excess of 24 hours or loss of life to any person or in the disappearance of any person resulting from the accident under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury; or the loss or disappearance of the vessel other than by theft. The term “boating accident” includes, but is not limited to damage, loss of life or injury to any person or object on board or being towed, pushed or otherwise connected to a vessel or to persons or property caused by wake, wash or waves created by a moving vessel, capsizing, collision, foundering, flooding, fire, explosion, burns, scalds, falls overboard or on board and other injuries to persons even though no damage to the vessel or its equipment results.

Section 2. Written Boating Accident Report: When Required

a. Whenever a boating accident results in (1) loss of life or the disappearance of any person, (2) injury causing any person to require medical treatment or to remain incapacitated for a period in excess of twenty-four (24) hours, (3) actual damage to any vessel or to any other property in excess of two hundred dollars ($200) the operator of said vessel shall submit within forty-eight (48) hours of the happening thereof if said accident has caused the death or disappearance of any person, and within seven (7) days of every other such accident, a written report to the Department on forms furnished by the Department.b. This requirement shall apply to the operator of (1) any vessel involved in a boating accident in the waters of the State, and (2) any vessel required to be numbered or numbered pursuant to the Rules and involved in a boating accident in any waters; provided that such report need not be filed with the Department where the operator is required by federal laws and requirements to report such accident to the Coast Guard. The operators of documented vessels are required to report boating accidents to the Coast Guard; operators of other vessels must report accidents to the Division. NOTE: 46 USC Part D, Chapter 63, Section 6301 states that it is the responsibility of the USCG to investigate all marine casualties as defined in Chapter 61 of the same Part, Section 6101. However, the USCG and the Government of Hawaii entered a Memorandum of Agreement which states that the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement will investigate all boating accidents on waters of joint jurisdiction involving recreational vessels.” c. A written accident report is not required from any person who is physically incapable of making a report during the period of such incapacity. d. Whenever the operator is physically incapable of making a written report of a boating accident and such operator is not the owner of the vessel, then the owner of the vessel involved in such accident shall make such report.

Section 3. Boating Accident Report

a. Whenever an operator has been involved in an accident requiring a written report, harbor personnel shall advise the operator to complete CG-3865 BAR Form – 2008 Boating Accident Report(see bottom of this page) and mail it to a DOBOR District Office.The State Boating Administrator shall compile the boating accident reports and supporting documentation and forward copies to (1) Commandant (G-BP-3), U. S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington D.C.; (2) Commander (b), Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Boating Safety Division; and to (3) MSO, Investigations; in the form of a monthly summary with exhibits. b. Upon receiving a written boating accident report concerning a vessel numbered in another state which was involved in an accident in this state, the State Boating Manager shall forward a certified copy of such report to the Boating Administrator of the state wherein such boating is numbered. c. Upon receiving a written boating accident report concerning a vessel numbered or required to be numbered in this state that was involved in a boating accident on waters within the jurisdiction of another state, the registrar shall forward a certified copy to the Boating Administrator of the state wherein the accident occurred.

Section 4. Written Accident Reports Are Not Public Records

Written accident reports are for the confidential use of the Department or other State and Federal agencies having use of the reports for accident prevention purposes (See Appendix A). Division personnel will utilize appropriate measures to preserve the confidential nature of such reports. Upon request they may disclose the contents of a written accident report to U. S. Coast Guard personnel and law enforcement agencies having reason to be informed. However, requests from other persons or agencies for information from written accident reports shall be referred to the Honolulu office. The CG abides to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. Part 552) and the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. part 552a). The FOIA sets standards for determining which records must be made available for public inspection and which records can be withheld from disclosure. It is the USCG Commandant’s policy to make records maintained by the Coast Guard available to the public to the greatest extent possible in keeping with the spirit of the FOIA while balancing the need to protect privacy and security interests. Discretionary release Under FOIA is for information/documents which fall under one of the nine exemptions, but do not pose a harm to agency operations or to an individual if they are released to the public. Agencies may make discretionary releases of material under the FOIA as a matter of good public policy and government accountability where there is no “foreseeable harm” in the release of the material and release is not prohibited by the Privacy Act or another statute. A discretionary release by the agency does not necessarily waive its ability to invoke FOIA exemptions for similar material in the future.

Section 5. Immediate Notice of Accident

Division personnel who receive a verbal notice of a boating accident as provided in Section 13-242-3, Hawaii Administrative Rules, Boating, will advise the informant as to the requirements for written reports and immediately notify the police station concerned. A memorandum is to be immediately dispatched to the Honolulu office containing:

a. A summary of the information received.b. The informant’s name and address. c. The badge number and name of the police officer notified and the date and time of notification. d. Name/s of the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation employee/s who received the report and notified the police officer. e. Division employees shall make every attempt to provide Form LNR 3-027, “Boating Accident Report”, to operator(s) or owner(s) of a recreational marine casualty. Upon completion by the operator(s) or owner(s), the completed reports shall be mailed to the Honolulu office, per the return address provided on the Boating Accident Report form.

Blue ball graphic, link toGlossary – Terms Used in Boating Accident Reports blue ball graphic, link back to DOBOR homepageCG-3865 BAR Form – 2011 Boating Accident Report Form