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Last Year’s Boating Accident Statistics
An annual report compiled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United States Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety offers a deep dive into causes of accidents, types of vessels, and if operator error was at play. Here are the highlights:
- Overall, there were 4,439 accidents, 658 deaths, and 2,641 injuries in boating accidents
- Boating accidents caused $67.5 million in property damage
- 81% of the victims drowned and, of those victims, 83% were not wearing a life jacket
- 75% of boaters who drowned were on vessels smaller than 21 feet
- Alcohol was a leading factor in 16% of the deaths
- 75% of the deaths occurred with boaters lacking a boating safety certificate
- Being struck by a propeller occurred in 188 accidents, resulting in 24 deaths and 191 injuries
The top five contributing factors to boating accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed. Open motorboats were the most common types of vessels involved in accidents, representing 47%, followed by personal watercraft at 19%, and cabin motorboats at 13%. Open motorboats also had the highest percentage of deaths at 44%, followed by kayaks at 15% and pontoons at 10%.
If you or someone you love was injured in a boating accident and believe that negligence was a factor, please contact us. Having a better understanding of your legal options may help.