On the Horizon

Input to Federal Policy—Consensus Recommendations on Incident Reporting and Initial Response from CG-BSX

Recreational Boating Incident Reporting Policy Project "Phase One": A collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard, States, and NASBLA/ERAC that was set in motion in November 2017 resulted in comprehensive recommendations to inform the development of national reporting policies and procedures. NASBLA membership voted in July 2020 to accept the recommendations package and approved its delivery to the Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety in early August 2020.

In 2021, some elements of the Coast Guard's initial response were discussed with NASBLA members during information sharing/refresher webinars conducted on Aug. 26 and Sept. 16 in advance of NASBLA's 2021 annual conference At an annual conference session on Sept. 27, Verne Gifford, Chief of the Boating Safety Division, provided additional detail on his areas of concurrence and disagreement. Go to NASBLA’s eLearning Center for recordings of both webinars and the conference session. On March 1, 2022, Mr. Gifford provided members of the NASBLA Executive Board with a draft policy letter addressing the reportability of certain types of incidents. The letter also was circulated as part of the CG-BSX report to attendees of the State RBS Workshop on March 2, and subsequently distributed to ERAC members and the original project workgroup. The letter is currently in review by NASBLA to assess the draft policy's alignment with the section 2 recommendations from the consensus project. Further updates and information on next steps in this multi-year project will be posted here and in NASBLA Connect.

----Consensus Recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (June 2020, accepted by vote of NASBLA membership July 31, 2020).
PDF package includes items incorporated into the consensus recommendations document by reference---reporting decision matrix, summary chart of recommended report data elements, and updates of five report categories' terms and definitions originally developed in the USCG/ERAC Accident Reporting Terms and Definitions Project (2012-2013).
----Resource Document (v. June 2020):
Extensive detail on the policy project and the process of developing the consensus recommendations

In the Federal Register

Comment period closed May 3, 2022--Coast Guard Notice Regarding Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report

On March 4, 2022, the Coast Guard published a notice of its intent to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an extension of the information collection "Recreational Boat Potential Safety Defect Report." Consumers, recreational boat owners, law enforcement, boating law administrators, marine inspectors, passengers/occupants, and the general public who believe a recreational boat or designated associated equipment has substantial risk defects or fails to comply with federal safety standards can use the fillable form, which is on the Boating Safety Division's website, to report the deficiencies for investigation and possible remedy. Comments were to be submitted to www.regulations.gov at docket USCG-2022-0110 by May 3, 2022.  Watch this site for updates.

Final Rule published--Fire Protection for Recreational Vessels

On Oct. 22, 2021, the Coast Guard issued a Final Rule amending the fire extinguishing equipment regulations for recreational vessels propelled or controlled by propulsion machinery. The Rule is effective as of April 20, 2022.  Of note: shortly after publication of the Final Rule, a technical error was identified. On Oct. 27, a correction to the header in the second column of table 3 in § 175.320(a)(2) was made and published to the Federal Register.

See Advocacy - Policy - Federal Register for a list and descriptions of recently-closed notices and final rules related to recreational boating and RBS programs.


Recordings available: NASBLA's 2021 Annual Conference was conducted Sept. 26-29 in Pittsburgh, PA. All of the workshop recordings (and any related handouts) are available in NASBLA's eLearning Center.   Just click on the In-Person/Virtual Events section.


2020 annual boating statistics release. The U.S. Coast Guard annual Recreational Boating Statistics for 2020 showed 5,265 accidents involving 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries and about $62 million in damage to property as a result of recreational boating incidents. The fatality rate in 2020 was 6.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, the highest rate in recent program history. Alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in the fatal accidents, representing 18 percent of the total fatalities. These raw figures continue to be analyzed as researchers attempt to sort through the impacts of the pandemic year. Check out the full report (rev August 2021) and a copy of the press release.

2018 NRBSS releases and May 2022 webinars: In December 2020, the Coast Guard released the written reports on the 2018 participation and exposure surveys that together make up what is known as the National Recreational Boating Safety Survey. The two reports can be downloaded from https://uscgboating.org/statistics/national-recreational-boating-safety-survey.php. On May 10, 2022, with a repeat on May 12, an ERAC charge team of state and USCG members conducted webinars covering the surveys' methods and findings, offering insights into the results, gathering feedback from states and other stakeholders, and soliciting thoughts about potential improvements to the collection. More information about the webinars and a copy of the presentation slides and notes can be found at the Lighthouse NRBSS webpage.


page last updated May 18, 2022

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