The operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, so far as the operator can do so without serious danger to the operator's own vessel, crew, and passengers, shall render to other persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty such assistance as may be practicable and as may be necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision, accident, or other casualty. The operator also shall give the operator's name, address, and identification of the operator's vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty.
Any person who renders assistance at the scene of a collision, accident, or other casualty involving a vessel is not liable in a civil action for damages or injury to persons or property resulting from any act or omission in rendering assistance or in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment, or other assistance, except that the person is liable for willful or wanton misconduct in rendering assistance. Nothing in this section precludes recovery from any tortfeasor causing a collision, accident, or other casualty of damages caused or aggravated by the rendering of assistance.
In the case of collision, accident, or other casualty involving a vessel, the operator thereof, if the collision, accident, or other casualty results in loss of life, personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, or damage to property in excess of five hundred dollars, shall file with the chief of the division of watercraft a full description of the collision, accident, or other casualty on a form prescribed by the chief. The report so filed shall be used for statistical purposes only and shall not be admissible for any purpose in any civil, criminal, or administrative action at law.
If the operator of the vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty is incapacitated, the investigating law enforcement officer shall file the required form as prescribed by the chief.
Effective Date: 03-18-1997