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Accidents of Navigation

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In the city of San Luis Obispo, an accident of navigation occurs on the open waters. These accidents are caused by changes in the weather or by actions of the current elements. The accident is not caused due to human error or an inability to handle a vessel properly. These accidents, in other words, are not to be blamed on the vessel’s operator, owner or manufacturer.

The state of California dictates how and when boating accidents must be reported. A written accident report must be filed with the Division of Boating and Waterways within 48 hours if the accident results in a death that occurs within 24 hours of the incident, the disappearance of a person, or any type of injury that was not remedied by first aid. Boaters must report an accident that involves the death of a person more than 24 hours after the accident occurred, the complete loss of a vessel, or property damage exceeding $500 within 10 days of the accident.

It is the responsibility of the boat owner or operator to file the report. If neither of these people are available, a person who was involved in the accident can report it in writing to the California Division of Boating and Waterways. The purpose of these reports is to allow the agency to develop safety practices that benefit all boaters on the state’s waterways. The department uses the information gained from boat accident reports to make recommendations to reduce accidents and make boating safer.

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