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Reporting boat incidents

21 October 2010

If you are operating a boat that is involved in an incident, you must take the following action:

Step 1: Stop your boat and give assistance
If you are involved in an accident, you must render any help possible without putting yourself, your passengers or crew in danger.

Emergency situations may include person overboard or engine failure. In some cases a boat may have been abandoned. You may be able to contact the Volunteer Marine Rescue Network on VHF Ch16 or 27 MHz on Ch88 and you may be able to provide valuable help as a witness.

If you are a witness to an incident you must help when possible. It is against the law to fail to stop and help after an incident (penalties apply).

Step 2: Provide your name and address
You are legally required to provide your contact details to the operator of any other boat involved, any injured person or the owner of any damaged property.

If needed, also supply the name of the owner of your boat.

Step 3: Report the incident
The owner, master or operator of any vessel must report to a transport safety compliance officer or a police officer near the location of any incident that results in loss of life, personal injury or property damage. This must be done as soon as possible but always within 48 hours.

You are required to report the incident when:
  •     the total damage bill is estimated to be in excess of $300 or
  •     any personal injury sustained requires medical attention.
Step 4: Provide details of the incident to the officer
Fill out a Vessel Accident Report form to report boating incidents. Details needed to fill out the form include:
  •     time and place of the incident
  •     circumstances
  •     name and address of any person killed or injured
  •     names and addresses of any witnesses
  •     the nature of any property damage
  •     details of all vessels involved in the incident.
Forms are available from sa.gov.au/boatingmarine, Transport Safety Compliance Officers – Marine and most South Australia Police stations.