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Accident Reporting

Reporting a Boat Accident

A boater who is involved in an accident must stop his or her vessel immediately at the scene of the accident and assist injured people or anyone in danger, unless doing so would seriously endanger his or her own vessel or passengers. The boater must give his or her name, address, and identification of the vessel in writing to any person injured and to the owner of any property damaged in the accident.

The boater operating the vessel must immediately notify the local law enforcement agency that a boating accident has occurred. In some circumstances, he or she must also submit a written accident report to New Mexico State Parks within 48 hours.

The operator of a recreational vessel involved in an accident must submit an accident report (regardless of the number of boats involved) to New Mexico State Parks within 48 hours when:

  • Loss of life occurs.
  • Injury occurs which requires medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • A person disappears from a vessel.
  • Vessel or property damage is more than $100, or there is complete loss of a vessel.

Boat Accident Report Form (fillable PDF)

Forms are also available from offices of state parks with lakes. Additionally, forms may be requested from, and completed forms may be mailed to:

New Mexico State Parks
Boating Safety Program
1220 South Saint Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505

or email:

Failure to comply with the above requirements is a petty misdemeanor punishable by a penalty up to $500. Pursuant to NMSA 1978, Section 66-12-12, information from this report is confidential and will be used only by government agencies for statistical purposes. It may not be used as evidence in a civil or criminal trial.