Glossary - Terms Used in Boating Accident Reports
The following definitions shall be used in completing boating accident reports:
Aluminum Hull - Hulls of aluminum or aluminum alloys; does not include those with the aluminum ribs and wood, canvas or plastic hull coverings.
Anchored - Held in place in the water by an anchor; included "moored" to a buoy or anchored vessel and "dragging anchor."
At Dock - Secured to a fixed or floating structure; but excludes while being fueled.
Being Towed - In the tow of another vessel.
Burns or Scalds - Injuries caused by contact with, or exposure to, hot surfaces or substances such as cooking ranges, lights, motors, wiring, liquids, etc. Does not include burns or scalds received as a result of a fire, explosion or other vessel casualty.
Cabin Motorboat - Motorboats on which a cabin is constructed, which can be completely closed by means of doors or hatches, Large cabin motorboats, even though referred to as yachts, sampans, cabin cruisers, etc., are considered cabin motorboats for classification purposes. This category does not include "houseboats", because they are not designed for general use under power.
Capsizing - When a vessel overturns. The bottom must become uppermost, except in the case of a sailboat. If a sailboat overturns (capsizes), it will normally lie on its side. (A spilling out of persons, except in the case of a sailboat, without completely overturning the boat is a "falling overboard", not a capsizing.)
Collision With Another Vessel - Any striking together of two or more vessels, regardless of operation at time of the accident, is a collision. (Also includes colliding with the tow of another vessel, regardless of the nature of the two, i.e., surfboard, ski ropes, skier, etc.)
Collision With Fixed Object - The striking of any fixed object, above or below the surface of the water except the bottom. (The striking of rocks, reefs, shoals, etc. on the bottom is a "grounding".)
Collision With Tow of Another Vessel - See "Collision With Another Vessel."
Cruising - Proceeding normally, unrestricted; an absence of drastic rudder or engine changes.
Crushed or Pinched - where the victim is injured in this manner by a vessel or its appurtenances. Such injury might occur while docking, handling lines, by doors, hatches, weights, etc.
Disappearance of Person - Where, from the circumstances, there is a presumption of death, but the body is not found and/or the circumstances are not known.
Documented Yacht - A vessel 5 net tons or over owned by a citizen of the United States, and used exclusively for pleasure with a valid marine document issued by the U. S. Coast Guard. A documented yacht cannot be numbered.
Drifting - Underway, but proceeding over the bottom without use of engines, oars or sails; being carried along only by the tide (current) and/or wind.
Excessive Speed - Speed above that which a reasonable and prudent person would have operated under the circumstances then existing. It is not necessarily a speed in excess of a posted limit.
Falls in Boat - Any slip, trip or fall on board or within the vessel resulting in injury or death.
Falls Overboard - Falls from the vessel with resulting injury or death.
Fault of Equipment - Improper unsafe installation; inadequacy, but not lack of such equipment.
Fault of Hull - Defect of hull material, design, or construction.
Fault of Machinery - Defect in machinery or material, design or construction; faulty installation by manufacturer, malfunctioning, corrosion, deterioration, absence of safety devices, faulty steering gear, etc.
Fault of Operator - Includes the following specific faults: speeding; overloading; improper loading, not properly seating occupants of boat; no proper lookout; carelessness; failure to heed weather warnings; operating in a congested area; not observing the Rules of the Road; unsafe fueling practices; lack of experience; ignorance of aids to navigation; lack of caution in an unfamiliar area of operation; improper installation or maintenance of hull, machinery or equipment; poor judgment; recklessness; overpowering the boat; panic; proceeding in an unseaworthy craft; operating a motorboat near persons in the water; starting engine with clutch engaged or throttle advanced; irresponsible boat handling such as quick, sharp turns.
Fault of Other Person - Same as faults listed for operator, but attributed to persons such as guests, skiers, bridge tenders, etc.
Fiberglass (Plastic) Hull - Includes those hulls of fiberglass reinforced plastic. The laminate consists of two basic components, the reinforcing material-glass filaments, and the plastic or resin in which it is embedded.
Fire or Explosion of Fuel - Accidental combustion of liquids, including their vapors, or other substances, such as wood or coal, which are on board as vessel fuel.
Flooding - Filling with water, regardless of method of ingress, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain upon the surface.
Fueling - Any stage of the fueling operation; primarily concerned with introduction of explosive or combustible vapors or liquids on board.
Grounding - When a vessel runs aground, strikes or pounds upon rocks, reefs, or shoals, stranding.
Hazardous Waters - Unusual water hazards such as rips, breakers, bars, shoals, rapids and obstructions.
Hull Construction - That material which constitutes the majority of the shell of the vessel.
Improper Loading - Where faulty loading (includes weight shifting) of the vessel caused instability, limited maneuverability, dangerously reduced freeboard, etc., and thereby caused the accident.
Inboard - Diesel - Where the primary propulsion at the time of the casualty was a diesel engine located within and permanently attached to the hull.
Inboard - Gasoline - Where the primary propulsion at the time of the casualty was a gasoline engine located within and permanently attached to the hull.
Inboard-outboard - Also referred to as inboard/outdrive. Regarded as inboard because the power unit is located inside the boat.
Maneuvering - Changing of course, speed, or similar boat handling action during which a high degree of alertness is required or the boat is hazarded because of the operation, i.e. docking, mooring, undocking, etc.
Motorboat - Any vessel equipped with propulsion machinery, not more than sixty-five feet in length.
Motor Vessel - Any vessel equipped with propulsion machinery (other than steam) more than sixty-five feet long.
Non-Tidal Waters - Streams (above the point affected by tides), lakes, ponds, reservoirs, etc.
No Proper Lookout (i.e. no proper watch) - The failure of the operator to perceive the danger because no one was serving as lookout, or the person so serving failed in that regard. Also includes inattention on the part of the operator.
Not Underway - "Other" - Includes all activities other than those listed while not underway. Also includes "unknown" while not underway.
Numbered Vessel - Any undocumented vessel numbered by: (1) a state with an approved numbering system; or (2) the U. S. Coast Guard, under the Federal Boating Safety Act of 1971.
Open Motorboat - Craft of open construction specifically built for operating with a motor; boats canopied or fitted with temporary partial shelters.
Other Fire and/or Explosion - Accidental burning or explosion of any material on board, except vessel fuels or their vapors (includes electrical fires).
Overloading -Where excessive loading of the vessel caused instability, limited maneuver- ability, dangerously reduced freeboard, etc., and thereby caused the accident.
Outboard - This classification includes "portable" engines. Some are so large as to preclude portability in its true sense but they re considered "outboard" because they are no "permanently" affixed to the structure of the craft. Also includes all "outboard" motors regardless of the method or location used to mount the engine, i.e., motor wells, "kicker pits", motor pockets, etc.
Personnel Casualties (Injuries) - Those accidents in which there was no actual damage to the vessel.
Propulsion - Other - Includes all mechanical propulsions other than by water propeller, such as airboats, jet propulsions (using gas vapor thrust), water jet, etc. Also includes the various methods of propelling a craft manually (oars, manual paddle-wheels, etc.) and by sail.
Rowboat or Canoe - Craft of open construction designed primarily to be propelled manually. Includes "dugouts," Indian type canoes but no "kayaks," or outrigger canoes which shall be listed as other.
Rules of the Road - Statutory and regulatory rules governing navigation of vessels.
Sailboat or Auxiliary - Craft intended to be propelled primarily by sail, regardless of size or type.
Sinking - Where the vessels loses enough buoyancy to settle below the surface of the water.
Steel Hull - Those hulls of sheet steel or steel alloy. Does not include those with steel ribs and wood, canvas or plastic hull coverings.
Striking Floating Object - Collision with any waterborne object above or below the surface that is free to move with the tide, current or wind, except another vessel, i.e. logs, debris, etc.
Struck by Boat or Propeller - Striking of a victim who is outside of the boat, but not necessarily a swimmer.
Swamping - Filling with water, regardless of method of ingress, but retaining sufficient buoyancy to remain upon the surface.
Tidal Waters - Bays, sounds, streams, etc. affected by tidal action.
Towing Other - Engaged in towing any vessel or object, other than a person.
Towing Skier - Self-explanatory. Includes surfboards, sleds, discs, and other devices, as well as skis, on which a person can be towed behind a boat.
Type of Boat - Other - All types of craft not listed, i.e., racing hydroplanes, kayaks, airboats, houseboats, pontoon boats, rafts, outrigger, canoes, paddle wheel vessels. etc.
Vessel Casualties - (As opposed to personnel casualties) - All of those accidents which result
in actual damage to the boat, regardless of extent of damage and irrespective of whether persons were injured, killed, or other property was damaged.
Wood Hull - Includes those hulls of plywood, molded plywood, wood planked, or any other wood fiber in its natural consistency. Also includes those of wooden construction that have been "sheathed" with fiberglass or sheet metal.
To report an accident, use form CG-3865 BAR Form - 2008