Boating Fatalities, Injuries Down in 2013
May 16, 2014
The U.S. Coast Guard has released its 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics. Among the findings is that boating fatalities in 2013 totaled 560 — the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.
From 2012 to 2013, deaths in boating-related accidents decreased 14%, from 651 to 560, and injuries decreased from 3,000 to 2,620, a 12.7% reduction. The total reported recreational boating accidents decreased from 4,515 to 4,062, a 10% decrease.
The fatality rate for 2013 of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 13% decrease from the previous year’s rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Property damage totaled approximately $39 million.
The report states alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top 5 primary contributing factors in accidents.
Where the cause of death was known, 77% of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those drowning victims, 84% were not wearing a lifejacket.
Where boating instruction was known, 20% of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats.
For more information on boating responsibly, to go the Boating Safety Resource Center website.