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 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 areas of concurrence and disagreement. Go to NASBLA’s eLearning Center for recordings of both webinars and the conference session. Further updates on the federal response 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 Nov. 22, 2021--Coast Guard's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Uniform Certificate of Title Act for Vessels

On Sept.22, the Coast Guard published a notice proposing changes to its regulations for certifying a State's titling system for undocumented vessels to increase States' participation in the Vessel Identification System (VIS). The proposed changes would allow States that have adopted the recommendations of the model Uniform Certificate of Title Act for Vessels to certify their titling provisions with the Coast Guard. Once certified and participating in the VIS, a State is able to confer preferred mortgage status on financial instruments that apply to undocumented vessels, which benefits the owners of those vessels. The most significant proposed change would be to implement a system of “branding” (permanently marking) titles for vessels that have sustained structural damage. This would help prevent a process known as “title washing,” where severe vessel damage is concealed by transferring the title to a different State. Comments were submitted to www.regulations.gov at USCG-2018-0160. Deadline was November 22, 2021. Click here for NASBLA's submission.

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.


It's a wrap/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 now 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 shows 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 will be analyzed for months 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: Early December 2020, the Coast Guard released the 2018 written reports on the 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. A web-based Data Access and Query System (DAQS) also is available for users to generate tables and charts from the survey data using predefined queries and filters. The DAQS is available at https://boatingsurvey.org/


page last updated Dec. 30, 2021

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