The United States Code of Federal Regulations that applies to maritime matters requires that the owner, operator or individual in charge of a boat involved in a marine casualty render assistance.
Each vessel owner, operator or individual in charge involved in the marine casualty should give his or her name, address and identification of the vessel to the owner, operator or individual in charge of any other vessel involved in the casualty, to any individual, injured, and to the owner of any property damaged.
Violating this requirement can carry a fine and/or imprisonment.
Be prepared to help others in trouble if at all possible, but do not take risks which could put your life in danger. Don’t panic, have life saving equipment ready and approach the accident carefully. Watch for persons in the water and throw floatation devices to those who do not have any. Talk to the people and assess any injuries they may have. Administer first aid if necessary and get the people to shore as quickly and safely as possible.
Remember, don’t overload your own boat with too many people. If necessary, take victims requiring the most assistance into the boat and throw a line to the others and tow them slowly as you proceed.