Boating is a fun and exciting activity that many people enjoy, but accidents can happen unexpectedly. In Florida, it is essential to know how to report a boating accident to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) if you find yourself in that situation.
Here’s what you need to know.
When do you need to report a boating accident?
According to Florida state law, you must report a boating accident to FWC if the accident resulted in:
- A person’s death or disappearance.
- An injury beyond the first aid.
- Property damage exceeding $2,000.
How do you report a boating accident?
If you happen to witness or be involved in a boating accident, the first step should be ensuring the safety of everyone involved. After that, you can report the accident by calling FWC’s 24-hour hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or through their website.
When you report a boating accident, you are required to provide the following information:
- The boat’s registration number, make, and model.
- The date, time, and location of the accident.
- The weather and water conditions at the time of the incident.
- The names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth of everyone involved.
- The extent of any injuries and damages.
What happens after you report a boating accident?
Once you report a boating accident, FWC will begin investigating the incident. The FWC officer will try to obtain as much information as possible about the accident by talking with witnesses, examining the boats involved, and gathering any other relevant information.
In some cases, the FWC may conduct a boat inspection, require a citation or arrest for violating boating regulations, or refer the case to a prosecutor’s office.
Boating accidents in Florida can have severe consequences. That is why it’s crucial to know how to report one to the FWC when necessary. Remember to always prioritize safety and follow the state’s boating laws to minimize the risk of accidents. If you do find yourself in a boating accident, make sure to report it to the authorities following the guidelines above.