Standardized Incident Reporting Terms & Definitions

The USCG/ERAC Accident Reporting Terms and Definitions Project---a 2011-2013 collaborative effort led by a team of State and Associate members of NASBLA's Engineering, Reporting & Analysis Committee (ERAC) and subject matter experts from the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division---revised entries in five of the major incident report categories. The lists and a resolution in support of project activities were voted on and approved in 2012 and 2013 by NASBLA membership--that is, the States via their Boating Law Administrators.

Five years later, the lists were taken up again, this time in the context of a more comprehensive reporting project also involving the Coast Guard and the States with coordination by ERAC. The Recreational Boating Incident Reporting Policy Project, set in motion in November 2017, resulted in over 100 consensus recommendations to inform the Coast Guard’s development of national reporting policies and procedures. Included in the array of recommendations were updates to the five terms and definitions lists along with updates to other incident report data elements for national collection. In summer 2020, the States voted again using an interim, online procedure authorized by NASBLA’s bylaws, and on July 31, accepted the entire recommendations package and approved its delivery to the Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety. Updates on the federal response to "phase one" of the project and information on next steps in this latest multi-year effort will be posted in On the Horizon and in NASBLA Connect.

The mark-ups of the lists as they were presented for the 2020 vote are included on pp. 30-62 of the PDF of the recommendations package. In the Reporting Terms and Definitions Category Lists section below, "clean" versions incorporating and highlighting the changes are posted alongside the original lists. The other guidance and documentation on this page were developed at the time the 2012-2013 versions were produced.

Reporting Terms and Definitions Category Lists (2012/2013 originals and 2020 updates - date refers to NASBLA membership vote of acceptance)

Resolution in Support of the 2012-2013 Project Activities

  • Resolution 2012 - 3 (Sept. 11, 2012): In support of the Accident Reporting Terms & Definitions Project, the adoption of standardized terms and definitions by the U.S. Coast Guard, and actions to facilitate their application.

Reporting Terms and Definitions Supporting Documents/Resources


Summary Tables

Accident Reporting Terms & Definitions Reference and Resource Modules (v2013.2, Oct. 2014)

page last updated Feb. 3, 2021

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