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NASBLA Leadership Academy


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Title: NASBLA Leadership Academy

Accident Reporting Whats the Big Deal?
  • NASBLA Leadership Academy
  • Lexington KY
  • July 24, 2013
  • Tammy Terry, NASBLA ERAC Chair
  • Ohio DNR, Division of Watercraft
  • Deb Gona, NASBLA ERAC staff
  • Research Consultant

Tell us about yourselves.
  • Your name, your state, and your history with the
    agency you represent
  • Your level of experience (scale of 1-high to
    10-low) with accident reporting, in general, and
    the BARD-Web system, in particular
  • The level of involvement your agency takes in
    accident reporting details. For example, do you
    investigate and enter details into BARD-Web
    yourselves or is all or part of the process
    handled by another agency or agencies?

Why is Accident Reporting Important?
  • Yet the best pilots have need of mariners,
    besides sails, anchor and other tackle.
  • - Ben Jonson
  • mariner  (m r -n r) n.
  • One who navigates or assists
  • in navigating a ship.

Knowing the Seas What are the Federal
Requirements for Accident Reporting?
33 CFR Part 173 Subpart C Casualty and
Accident Reporting 33 CFR Part 174 Subpart C
Casualty Reporting System Requirements
33 CFR 173.55 Conditions for a Report Specific
occurrences involving the vessel or its equipment
that require operator/owner to file a BAR 33 CFR
173.55 (c) Who Submits the Report
Operator/owner files BAR with reporting
33 CFR 173.57Content of Report
Number, name of vessel (a) Name, DOB, contact info, experience, boating education level of instructor (h) Availability and use of PFDs (o) Cause of the accident, determination of alcohol (v)
Name, Address of vessel owner (b) Name, contact info of operator (i) Type and amount of fire extinguisher (p) Make, model, type, beam width, depth, hp, propulsion, fuel, construction, year built (w)
Name of nearest city, county, state, body of water (c) Number of people onboard/towed (j) Nature, extent of injury (q) Name, contact info of witness (x)
Time and date (d) Name, contact info, DOB of victim (k) Property damage estimate and description (r) HIN (y)
Location (e) Cause of death (l) Description of equipment failure if a cause of accident (s) Name and contact info of person submitting report (z)
Visibility, weather, water conditions (f) Weather forecasts available, use prior to accident (m) Description of casualty (t)
Air and water temperature (g) Name, contact info of owner, property damaged (n) Type of operation and accident (u)
33 CFR 173.53 33 CFR 173.55 Timelines for
Report Notification and Submission
Operator/owner files BAR with reporting
authority within timeframe requirements depend
on nature of incident (deaths, injuries,
vessel/property damage) 33 CFR 174.121
Forwarding of Reports to Coast Guard Within
30 days of its receipt of accident report, State
forwards report data to Coast Guard HQ
Get to Know Prior Explorers What are Federal
uses of Accident Reporting data?
Importance to the Coast Guard
  • Measuring success of the RBS Program nationally
  • Demonstrating measurable impact of programs
  • Required to meet Adequate and Sufficient

USCG Boating Safety Division
  • The Boating Safety Division of the Office of
    Auxiliary and Boating Safety produces an annual
    statistics report on recreational boating
  • The report reflects a national perspective on
    accident causes and types, and provides tables
    with State/Territory data.

Other USCG Publications
  • The U.S. Coast Guard Budget in Brief and
    Performance Report
  • The Coast Guard Marine Safety Performance Plan
  • The Coast Guard Posture Statement

National Boating Safety Advisory
Council http//
Established by the Federal Boating Safety Act
of 1971, NBSAC uses the data as it advises the
USCG on a range of boating safety matters. NBSAC
subgroups advise on the use of accident report
data to measure the impact of various objectives
of the Strategic Plan of the National
Recreational Boating Safety Program.
Get to Know Prior Explorers What other Groups
and Organizations have been using Accident
Reporting data?
Notable Explorers
  • Non-Profits (CO case studies propeller
  • Consultants (environmental impacts)
  • University researchers
  • Other federal agencies (life jacket wear
  • Media
  • Insurance agencies (promotional strategies)
  • Industry
  • Lawyers
  • Claims adjusters, and
  • NASBLA Engineering, Reporting Analysis

Importance of Accident Reporting data to other
researchers and analysts
  • Better understanding of factors surrounding
    recreational boating accidents
  • Use the same data sets as USCG and States
    resulting in similar analysis issues

Becoming an Explorer What have States been
doing with Accident Reporting data?
Importance to the States
  • Measuring success of the RBS Program in the State
  • Demonstrating measurable impact of programs
  • Establishing objectives that provide return on

Individual States
  • Many states compile their own annual statistical
    summaries of recreational boating accident data.
    Among them
  • California
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee

Individual States
Taking it to the next level by using state
and local trends in accident/injury/fatality data
to determine the success of programs and hone
in on problem areas.
Individual States
Connecticut Looked at accident types on
Candlewood Lake the states largest lake
- to determine if
special regulations were needed on the lake


Individual States
  • Tennessee
  • Used an analysis tool developed from an ERAC
    charge to look at patterns in state fatalities
    across several parameters
  • Year (across a 10-year span)
  • Accident Type
  • Accident Cause
  • Body of Water (including size
    unique characteristics)

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Becoming a Better Navigator What are some of
the critical data and process issues in Accident
Areas for improvement in accident report data
  • Accuracy
  • Timeliness
  • Completeness
  • Better narratives

Accuracy Issues
  • Vague, conflicting, or missing definitions for
    data fields and data field options
  • Other areas with interpretation differences
  • Injury requiring treatment beyond first aid
  • (33 CFR 173.55 (a))
  • Vessels falling under the RBS Program
  • (33 CFR 173.51)
  • Commercial accidents (33 CFR 173.51)

Timeliness Issues
  • Public awareness of accident reporting
  • Timeline for forwarding a report to the Coast
    Guard (33 CFR 174.121)

Completeness Issues
  • Gaps in BARD-Web data
  • Vessel Length
  • Operator Age
  • Operator Education
  • Too many unknowns

Narrative Issues
  • Incomplete information in narratives
  • u1 ran into the stern of u2
  • PWC turned into other
  • A good narrative
  • Uses no personal information (instead, uses
    Vessel 1, Operator, etc.)
  • Includes as much detail as possible especially
    items that arent included in other BARD-Web data

Consequences of Non-Standardized and Incomplete
  • Unable to analyze key boating safety issues in a
    reliable and valid manner
  • Unable to accurately assess the success of
    various programs
  • Unable to rely on data to guide programs into the

Get on Board Charting a Clearer Course Whats
Being Done? What Can You Do?
Actions Under Way or Planned
  • NBSAC Accident Reporting Task Force
    Recommendations incorporated into National RBS
    Strategic Plan 2012-2016 subject of a Coast
    Guard Request for Comments in 2011
  • US Coast Guard Work on accident reporting
    regulatory proposals and policy documents
  • NASBLA ERAC Charge work
  • Standardized terms and definitions
  • Online resource / reference modules and analysis
  • Online forum

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Develop a two-tiered boating accident
    notification/ reporting system
  • Clarify through policy and regulation, which
    watercraft qualify for boating accident reporting
  • Include exclusive state waters in accident
    reporting requirements

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Clarify which recreational boating-related
    injuries qualify for reporting by adopting OSHA
    standards for medical treatment beyond first
    aid as standard
  • Consider revising reportable boating accident
    criteria to exclude incidents where vessel was
    being used as a swimming platform or a person
    voluntarily leaves the vessel as the first event,
    regardless of whether the
    vessel was underway or not

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Create a Decision Matrix that will simplify the
    boating accident and casualty reporting
    decision-making process
  • Establish and enforce the responsibility and
    accountability of first responders for notifying
    of an accident or casualty and of state reporting
    authorities for
    investigating and submitting boating accident
    report data

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Amend CFR to specify the essential elements of
    information required to be included in the
    initial notification of a boating accident
  • Amend CFR to abstain from including specific
    data elements and require that essential elements
    of boating accident report information be
    specified in USCG
    policy document

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Revise former guidance document CG-449, and make
    it available in a condensed version through
    electronic media
  • Examine feasibility of harmonizing commercial
    and recreational boating accident cause data.
  • Continue to research methods for statistical
    adjustment of accident totals to help extrapolate

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Draft text for inclusion in Boating Statistics
    discussing possible errors and limits to
    interpretation of data extracted from BARD
  • Examine suitability of additional models of
    accident causation (human factors) for use in
    describing fatal recreational boating accidents.

NBSAC Recommendations
  • Assist the states in conducting training,
    education and outreach efforts directed toward
    the boating public and accident investigators and
    regarding boating accident notification and
    reporting regulatory and policy revisions

United States Coast Guard
  • Work on accident reporting regulatory proposals
    and policy documents
  • Final Rule on Changes to SNS/VIS/BARD
  • Regulatory and policy action on NBSAC
  • Cooperation with ERAC on continuing work

NASBLA Engineering, Reporting Analysis
Committee (ERAC)
  • Standardized accident reporting terms and
    definitions in five key report categories
  • Resource/reference modules for the standardized
  • Online forum
  • Source for clarification and resources related
    to recreational boating accident reporting and

NASBLA Engineering, Reporting Analysis
Committee (ERAC)
  • Development of standardized reporting terms and
    definitions in five key report categories
  • Accident Types
  • Contributing Factors
  • Operation
  • Activity
  • Vessel Types/Sub-Types

Time for a test Can you identify the correct
Accident Type and Contributing Factor?

  • The investigation of the
  • meaning of words is the
  • beginning of education.
  • - Antisthenes, c. 445-c. 365 B.C.

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions Project
  • Five accident report categories targeted by
    project team
  • for update and standardization
  • Accident Types and Contributing Factors

    approved by NASBLA Membership (Sept 2012)
  • Operation, Activity, Vessel Types/Sub-Types

    revised and currently in final state review, then
    on to request for acceptance of work products

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions
  • NASBLA Resolution 2012-3
  • In support of the Accident Reporting Terms and
    Definitions Project, the adoption of standardized
    terms and definitions by the U.S. Coast Guard,
    and actions to facilitate their application.

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions
  • NASBLA Resolution 2012-3 Three Key Elements
  • Support for project and its intent
  • Formal request to USCG to incorporate each list
    into national use after each is accepted by
    NASBLA members as a final work product
  • Recommend that ERAC/USCG continue to develop
    training and guidance for the States on the use
    of the terms and definitions

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions
  • Criteria that guided the update and
    standardization of report category options
  • Clarity Distinctiveness Relevance
  • Afford better access to / analysis of data
  • Formatting to assist investigating officers work
    in recording
    relevant accident details

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions Project
  • Webinar on latest revisions to the Operation,
    Activity, and Vessel Types/Sub-Types proposals
    conducted with States on July 15
  • PowerPoint and audio from webinar available at
  • Project team will meet July 29 to take up
    comments received during webinar and through COB
    July 26

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions Project
  • Submit final comments on Operation, Activity,
    Vessel Types/Sub-Types
  • By COB FRIDAY JULY 26 2013
  • To Deb Gona at
  • All comments will be posted to the
    Discussion Forum linked

Accident Reporting Terms Definitions Project
  • Anticipate a formal request will be sent to BLAs
    early August for online vote of acceptance on
    the final three work products
  • Seeking acceptance of the
    products to expedite
    delivery of resource
    in September.

Engineering, Reporting Analysis Committee
  • Online resource and reference modules for
    standardized terms and definitions
  • First iteration portable PPTbased module
  • Intend availability 24/7/365
  • Accessible by all involved in
  • reporting system
  • Interactive features

Engineering, Reporting Analysis Committee
  • Development of Online Forum
  • Inclusion of tools
  • Body of Water Template
  • Terms and Definitions Resource Modules
  • Source for clarification/resources
    related to recreational boating
    reporting and analysis

What you can do
  • Get Involved in Your States Accident Reporting
  • Look at ways to improve your processes and
    standardize your data
  • Ensure completeness of data fields
  • Beef up your report narratives
  • Stress the importance to your staff
  • Look at ways you can use
    accident data to guide your
    programs and evaluate your efforts

What you can do
  • Get Involved in Your States Accident Reporting
  • Explore various tools that are available to you
  • Provide your input and suggestions
  • Comment sheets can be filled
    out and dropped off
  • Additional input and suggestions
    can be forwarded to
    Tammy Terry

    or Deb Gona

Thank Youand Best Wishes in Your Work
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