Recreational Vessel Accident Reporting (Closed 12/31/2011)

In 2009, the Coast Guard received a set of 15 recommendations from the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) regarding potential ways to improve the recreational boating accident reporting system and process. Among the prominent recommendations were that the Coast Guard: (1) use a two-tiered reporting system for boating accidents; and (2) take steps to clarify what, how, and when information is reported.

On Sept. 6, 2011, the Coast Guard issued a Federal Register Notice of the NBSAC recommendations and requested additional public comment on them (through a set of 29 questions) as well as general comment on the burden involved in reporting accidents, and other alternative means of reporting or collecting information. On Nov. 10, NASBLA conducted a national teleconference with association membership for the purpose of sharing information and addressing questions about the Notice.

Comments were accepted through an extended deadline of December 31, 2011. Ultimately, a total of 34 comments--including 31 from states and territories, NASBLA, and other stakeholders--were submitted to Docket USCG–2011–0674 on where they can still be viewed.

In March 2012, the results of the public comment were described to the states' boating law administrators and other attendees during a session of the NASBLA Spring BLA Workshop in Lexington, Ky. On June 26, 2012, the Coast Guard requested a rulemaking. Since that time, varying target dates have been given for issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register.

However, in 2016, there has been a resurgence of interest in the project within the Coast Guard, and from stakeholder groups, formal expressions of support for expediting its completion and release for comment.

At its April 2016 meeting, NBSAC unanimously approved Resolution 2016-95-01, formally reaffirming its support for what it deemed the still relevant and necessary recommendations that had been developed by its Accident Reporting Task Force in 2009. That resolution further encourages the Coast Guard to complete the regulatory project as quickly as possible. 

In late June 2016, NASBLA's Executive Board put forward to NASBLA membership Resolution 2016-1 In support of the advancement of the U.S. Coast Guard's recreational boating accident reporting system. The resolution expresses the association's support and encouragement for the Coast Guard to move forward with the project and also strongly encourages the Coast Guard to factor into the content of the rulemaking the significant work and recommendations for reporting improvements that have come from NASBLA and NBSAC over the last decade. The membership voted on the resolution in accord with interim business procedures authorized by Bylaw III, Section 8. The resolution passed on July 27, 2016.

Page last updated Dec. 21, 2018