2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XXIV VESSELS
Chapter 327 VESSEL SAFETY
SECTION 30Collisions, accidents, and casualties.
327.30 Collisions, accidents, and casualties.—
(1) It is the duty of the operator of a vessel involved in a collision, accident, or other casualty, so far as he or she can do so without serious danger to the operator’s own vessel, crew, and passengers, if any, to render to other persons affected by the collision, accident, or other casualty such assistance as is practicable and necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision, accident, or other casualty, and also to give his or her name, address, and identification of his or her vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the collision, accident, or other casualty. The operator of a vessel involved in an accident with an unattended vessel shall take all reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of such vessel of the accident, furnishing to such owner his or her name, address, and registration number and reporting as required under this section.
(2) In the case of collision, accident, or other casualty involving a vessel in or upon or entering into or exiting from the water, including capsizing, collision with another vessel or object, sinking, personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, death, disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury, or damage to any vessel or other property in an apparent aggregate amount of at least $2,000, the operator shall without delay, by the quickest means available give notice of the accident to one of the following agencies: the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; the sheriff of the county within which the accident occurred; or the police chief of the municipality within which the accident occurred, if applicable.
(3) The statutory duty of a person to make a report or give information to a law enforcement officer making a written report relating to an accident does not extend to information that would violate the privilege of such person against self-incrimination.
(4) Each coroner or other official performing like functions, upon learning of the death of a person in his or her jurisdiction as a result of a boating accident, shall immediately notify the nearest office of the Department of Law Enforcement.
(5) It is unlawful for a person operating a vessel involved in an accident or injury to leave the scene of the accident or injury without giving all possible aid to all persons involved and making a reasonable effort to locate the owner or persons affected and subsequently complying with and notifying the appropriate law enforcement official as required under this section. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to an accident resulting in personal injury commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to an accident resulting in property damage only commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) Any law enforcement officer who investigates a boating collision or accident may arrest or cite the operator of any vessel involved in the accident or collision when, based upon personal investigation, the officer has probable cause to believe that the operator has committed any offense in connection with the accident or collision.
(7) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a court may order a person convicted of a violation of this section or of any rule adopted or order issued by the commission pursuant to this section to pay an additional fine of up to $1,000 per violation. All fines assessed and collected pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted by the clerk of the court to the Department of Revenue to be deposited into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund to be used to enhance state and local law enforcement activities related to boating infractions. As used in this subsection, the terms “convicted” and “conviction” mean any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
History.—s. 1, ch. 59-399; s. 4, ch. 61-511; s. 1, ch. 65-361; ss. 25, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 34, ch. 79-65; s. 5, ch. 81-100; s. 24, ch. 87-243; s. 1, ch. 87-392; s. 3, ch. 89-117; s. 44, ch. 91-224; s. 455, ch. 95-148; s. 16, ch. 96-330; s. 41, ch. 97-96; s. 22, ch. 99-245; s. 2, ch. 2003-143; s. 2, ch. 2022-197.
Note.—Former s. 371.141.