Many Louisiana residents have witnessed boat accidents. Some, however, may not be aware of the appropriate responses in such situations. Any vehicle operator involved in a boat accident or collision should stop the vessel immediately at the accident scene and provide all possible help to the victims. The operator may also try to minimize any damage caused by the accident.

However, while taking these steps, the person should also be careful that no additional damage is inflicted on the accident victims of any boats involved. The operator should provide details, such as names, addresses and vehicle identification numbers.

Any collision involving vessels should be reported immediately to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division or to the nearest law enforcement agency or state police. The damages that may be caused by a recreational vessel include death or injury, disappearance of a person from any of the vessels involved, damage of property exceeding $500 and complete damage to a vessel. The drivers of the vessels involved need to forward an incident report to LDWF within five days of the boat accident.

The boat owners may also request a copy of the accident report from the LDWF after placing a request with the department. In the request, the boat owner’s details, registration number of the vessel and date and location of the accident should be provided along with a fee of $7.50. If the owner needs photographs of the accident, an additional $10.00 may be sent along with the request.

Source: wlf.louisiana.gov, “Boating Incident Reporting,” Accessed on May 21, 2015