Emergency: Collisions

Collision Regulations state that every vessel shall take all measures necessary to determine if risk of collision exists, and shall take all measures necessary to avoid a collision.

When there is a risk of collision, operators of both vessels are required to take whatever action is required to avoid contact, however if a collision is unavoidable you should reduce damage to ‘sensitive’ areas of both vessels.

Note: Every vessel should navigate at a speed that allows proper and effective action to avoid a collision.


If you are involved in a boating accident you need to know what actions are required by law:

  • Stop your vessel;
  • Immediately ensure that everyone is accounted for and check for injuries.
  • Ensure that everyone is wearing a PFD or a lifejacket;
  • Identify yourself and your boat, exchange ID/contact details if required;
  • Provide assistance, if possible and warranted;
  • Keep a record of pertinent information with dates, time, and conditions;
  • Transmit distress call (i.e. VHF radio call or cellular phone) and/or visual signal if necessary; and
  • File an accident report with the local law enforcement authority.
REMEMBER: Failure to stop at the scene of a collision is an offence which may result in imprisonment.