Unfortunately, sometimes accidents and emergencies happen. Boat operators must be aware of their responsibilities following an accident or surrounding an emergency situation, whether they are involved or not. According to 46 U.S. Code 2304, any time that a watercraft is in distress, nearby operators must stop their vessel at the scene and provide assistance to the extent that they are able.
The law states that “a master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or individuals on board.”
Assistance from other boaters can aid in reducing the chances of death, injury or property damage in boating accidents. Of course, as mentioned before, assistance should only be rendered in a manner that does not cause serious danger to the boater’s own vessel and its passengers.