On the Horizon

Input to Federal Policy—Consensus Recommendations on Incident Reporting and Initial Responses 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.

----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 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.

CG-BSX Release of Policy Letter 23-01

In March 2022, Mr. Gifford provided members of the NASBLA Executive Board with a draft policy letter addressing one segment of the recommendations -- the reportability of certain types of incidents. The draft also was circulated as part of the CG-BSX report to attendees of the State RBS Workshop, and subsequently distributed to ERAC members and the original project workgroup. More reviews, discussions and draft revisions took place in the months following. A final version of CG-BSX Policy Letter 23-01 was signed by CAPT Troy Glendye and distributed to the States on Jan. 27, 2023. On March 15, the first of two webinars highlighting major policy changes and expected impacts on report data collection in 2024 was presented by the USCG Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety in partnership with NASBLA. Visit NASBLA's eLearning Center for the recordings.

In 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 2022 Annual Conference was conducted Sept. 27-30, in Manchester, NH. The conference session recordings are available in NASBLA's eLearning Center.   For direct access, click here.


2021 annual boating statistics. The U.S. Coast Guard annual Recreational Boating Statistics for 2021 showed 4,439 incidents involving 658 deaths, 2,641 injuries and about $67.5 million in damage to property. The fatality rate in 2021 was 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 15.4% decrease from the rate in 2020. Alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in the fatal accidents, representing 16 percent of the total fatalities.


page last updated March 16, 2023

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