Archive for May 21st, 2009

Reporting Boating Accidents

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

You would think if you’re in your boat on a wide-open waterway you’d be less likely to have an accident…but it happens. When it does you can’t tell a fish story…

An accident must be reported under Texas law if there is at least 500 dollars in damages, if there is a person that is killed or injured…injured means an injury that is beyond first aid.

Alfonso Campos, is the Assistant Chief of Marine Enforcement at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says you’d be surprised how many people don’t report boating mishaps.

A national statistic, provided by the Coast Guard shows as few as 10 percent of the accidents are actually reported.

Accident reports need to be filed within 30 days of the incident…and it’s an up to a 500-dollar fine if you don’t comply. To encourage more folks to fill out the paperwork, he says the report is not admissible in court as evidence against you.

It can’t be held against you that you reported an accident…if you write something down it’s not going to incriminate you…it’s simply a statistical report and we use it to look at trends in boating…what things are causing accidents.

If you have an aquatic fender bender, download a copy of the boating accident report online, we have a link to it at

That’s our show…we receive support from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program…reminding you that June 6th through 14th is National Fishing and Boating week…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.