Boat and Watercraft Accident Reconstruction

Boat and Watercraft Accident Reconstruction

In general, accident reconstruction is a branch of causation forensics which involves determining how and why an accident happened. It is accomplished first by carefully interpreting the clues left by the remaining physical evidence of the accident, then by reconstructing and studying the events preceding, during, and following the accident.  However, boat and watercraft accident reconstructions pose special challenges in the field of reconstruction. 

Accidents that occur in the marine environment can be far more complex and difficult to investigate than land surface transportation crashes.  Usually there is very little evidence on the water itself (there are no skid marks on the water!)  This category of crash requires a highly specialized understanding of vessels and the environment in which they operate as well as the applicable rules of navigation.  It is imperative that the investigator possesses a thorough and comprehensive understanding of all the elements of a marine incident: human, environment and vessel.

Our investigative work includes:

  • Personal watercraft
  • Drowning and falls overboard
  • Injuries to vessel occupants
  • Commercial vessel operation
  • Recreational power vessels of all categories
  • Sailboats
  • Water-skiing, tubing incidents and other water sport products
  • Military vessels incident
  • Fire/explosions
  • General boating safety issues
  • Port security and safety issues
  • Component failure and casualties
  • Aids to Navigation issues
  • Piloting and Navigation
  • Marina and Port Operations
  • Survival Systems
  • Flotation, buoyancy and capsizing

Introtech’s Boat & Watercraft Accident Reconstruction Experts

The boating accident reconstruction experts at Introtech includes two retired Coast Guard officers (a Captain and Lieutenant), both with vast experience and training in the field of maritime safety and accident investigation. Their education and experience encompass such duties as Coast Guard Cutter Officer of the Deck, Command Duty Watch Officer, Search and Rescue Controller, Aircraft Commander, Search and Rescue Boat Coxswain, Emergency Medical Technician, Armed Boarding Officer, Engineering Watch Officer, Engineering Petty Officer, Engineer Officer and on-scene accident investigator.


In order to maintain our expertise, we regularly attend various schools and seminars in the field of maritime safety and boating safety standards. Introtech staff are members of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI) and the National Safe Boating Council.  Henry Lipian and James Crawford are both Ohio Division of Watercraft Volunteers and often teach on the subject of boating accident investigation/reconstruction and are certified to teach the Ohio Boating Education Course (OBEC).


Our staff has attended some of the most advanced and comprehensive training in the maritime safety and accident investigation disciplines including:

  • National Boating Safety School
  • National Search and Rescue School
  • Underwriters Laboratory Advanced Boat Accident School
  • Coast Guard Motor Surfboat School
  • Coast Guard Emergency Medical Technician
  • U.S. Coast Guard Academy
  • U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Shipboard and Aircraft Fire Fighting
  • Damage Control
  • Marine Engineering Schools from the U.S. Coast Guard, Mercury Marine, Caterpillar Diesel, Cummins Diesel, Detroit Diesel
  • Maritime Rules of the Road
  • Coast Guard Engineman and Machinery Technician up to and including Chief Petty Officer
  • Radar Operator
  • Maritime navigation
  • American Boat and Yacht (ABYC) Webinars
  • National Transportation Safety Board Academy

To learn more about a specific watercraft accident reconstruction that Introtech was hired to perform, view our watercraft accident reconstruction case study.