This Washington State statute provides that an operator of a vessel (motor boat, ski-do, etc) can be charged with homicide by watercraft if a person dies as a result of negligent operation of a vessel or succumbs to their injuries within three years of an accident. The operator can be found guilty of homicide by watercraft if he or she was:
  • Operating the vessel in a reckless manner
  • Operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs (In the State of Washington, a driver is under the influence of alcohol if the alcohol concentration in their blood is 0.08 or higher.)
  • Operating the vessel without regard for the safety of others
This statute includes someone in the same vessel as the operator, in another vessel or someone being towed by a rope or in the water. In any of these cases, the boat operator can be found guilty of a felony.

When a vessel operator is charged with Homicide by Watercraft, he or she is tried by the State of Washington. In addition, the family of a person killed as a result of Homicide by Watercraft can bring a suit for wrongful death.

With the help of The Farber Law Group, a Washington law firm experienced and knowledgeable in handling boating accident cases and wrongful death cases.

Please contact us for more information and to schedule a free consultation.