Boating Accidents

As much fun as boating can be, boating accidents occur when caution is not used. In 2014, the Coast Guard counted 4,064 accidents that involved 610 deaths, 2,678 injuries and approximately $39 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.  Below are statistics from boating accidents.

  • The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100K registered recreational vessels. This is a 10.6% increase from last year’s fatality rate.
  • Where cause of death was known, 78% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Where instruction was known, 23% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction. Only 12% percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.
  • Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
  • Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 21% of deaths.
  • Twelve children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2014. Seven children or approximately 58% died from drowning. Four children or 57% of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket; two were not required to by state law.
  • Where data was known, the most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (47%), personal watercraft (17%), and cabin motorboats (15%).
  • Where data was known, the vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (47%), canoes (13%), and kayaks (10%).
  • The 11,804,002 recreational vessels registered by the states in 2014 represent a 1.7% decrease from last year when 12,013, 496 recreational vessels were registered.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, please contact The Soud Law Firm at (904) 353-9000 to find out what steps to take next.  Please remember to always practice boating safety when on the water.

Pro Tip – “Report all boating accidents to the local authorities.”

After boating accidents, everyone involved should stay the area in law enforcement arrives on the scene. Transport anyone in need of medical treatment to the hospital. Even when there are no injuries contact and insurance information should be exchanged. In addition, report  the accident to local authorities.