Assisting Vessel in Distress

Accidents and emergencies are inevitable, even at sea, so boat operators must be aware of their responsibilities when the situation comes. Becoming a boater means becoming part of the wider boating community. As per 46 US Code 2304, nearby boaters must stop their boats and assist as required any time a vessel is in distress. 

Good Samaritans are responsible for hundreds of rescues every year. In the event of an emergency, individuals in charge of a vessel are required to assist so far as they can do so without serious danger to their own vessel or the individuals onboard their vessel. Assistance from other boaters can reduce the loss of life, injury or property damage resulting from boating incidents.

46 U.S. Code Section 2304 requires a master [operator] or individual in charge of a vessel to render assistance to those in danger at sea if able to do so without seriously endangering the vessel or crew.

If you cannot assist safely, notify another boater as soon as possible; and inform the authorities if necessary.



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