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Boating in Connecticut: the potential dangers

Connecticut is home to a number of gorgeous coastal areas, where sailing and swimming are only a few of many outdoor attractions. Boating is another popular activity in the state. As countless natives and tourists alike hit the waves each season, they also face various responsibilities regarding boat training, activities and operation.


With the high volume of boating enthusiasts that visit Connecticut's waterways, there also, unfortunately, exists a substantial number of accidents. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection provides a document entitled "Guidelines for Investigator's Boating Accident Report," which covers the types of boats commonly involved in collisions and other incidents, the standard for reporting accidents and other boating safety information. According to the document, a vessel is considered to be in a boating accident whenever a death, missing person, injury beyond first aid, property damage greater than $500, or a complete loss of vessel results from the vessel's operation, construction, seaworthiness, equipment or machinery. The DEEP also provides an extended list of possible types of accidents that individuals must report.

The Connecticut Post reports that, as of 2015, a bill called "Emily's Law" maintains that operators of boats must be at least 16 years of age and complete a course in safe towing under legislation approved by the Judiciary Committee. Such laws aim to promote water safety and the awareness of potential dangers on and in the water. Due to controversy from the boating industry, the bill lowered the legal age from 18 to 16; however, those operating a boat must also hold a valid Coast Guard license or DEEP certificate and a DEEP safe-towing endorsement. Violators of this rule could face fines up to $250.              

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