2020 Recreational Boating Statistics Report ... There are a total of 17 million recreational boats currently in use in the United States. Each year the U.S. Coast Guard publicly releases a Recreational Boating Statistics report. The Inspections & Compliance Directorate of the Coast Guard has been delegated the responsibility to collect, analyze, and annually publish statistical information obtained from recreational boat numbering and casualty reporting systems. This information is a result of the coordinated effort of the Coast Guard and those states and territories that have Federally-approved boat numbering and casualty reporting systems. These include all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. What does this data tell us ... To begin with, it tells us that recreational boating safety is a serious topic. For example, in 2019 there were 5265 accidents, These statistics involved 3,191 injuries that included 1379 collisions with a recreational vessel, and 767 deaths overall. Alcohol was the leading factor in nearly 9% of deaths. However, this result is a significant reduction in alcohol related boating deaths from last year. I congratulate all those Skippers who have left their alcoholic beverages at home. The damage to property as the result of the above events was estimated to be $62.5 million dollars. If this sounds like a lot, it is. Overall, the rate of deaths on recreational boats increased by 26.3%. In part, this was driven by a significant increase in boating sales and on water activities driven by the pandemic. As a vessel owner you are responsible for the safety of family, friends and crew while they are on your boat. These boating safety statistics detail facts you should be aware of to make your time at sea as safe as possible ... The top 10 causes of boating accidents were: …1 … Operator inattention, ... 2 … Operator inexperience. ... 3 ... Improper lookout ... 4 … Excessive speed ... 5 … Machinery failure ... 6 … Navigation rules violation ... 7 … Alcohol use ... 8 … Weather conditions ... 9 … Hazardous waters ...10 … Force of waves and wakes … The leading causes of boating fatalities were: … A … Drowning (534 people). Sadly, 86% of these souls were not wearing a life jacket. So, be certain you have properly sized PFDs for everyone before you shove off … B … Trauma (152 people) … C … Cardiac arrest (11 people) … D … Hypothermia (6 people) and … E …Carbon monoxide (3 deaths) … The most common vessel types involved in accidents of any kind were: … Open Motorboats (45%) … Personal Watercrafts (19%) … and .. Cabin Motorboats (16%). Overall, 77% of the deaths that occurred in 2019 were piloted by an owner who did not attend a boating safety course. 80% of those who drowned were in a boat that was less than 21 feet … Not surprisingly, the vessels with the highest number of deaths were ... Open Motorboats (45%) … Kayaks (14%) ... and … PWCs (8%). Use caution when swimming near a motorboat … In 2019 there were 247 incidents where a swimmer was struck by a propeller. This resulted in 39 deaths and 208 injuries. If you are the Skipper of a motorized vessel of any kind make certain the engines have been shut down before allowing any passengers to jump into the water … Where data is available the most common types of boats that reported accidents were … Open Motor Boats (46%) … Personal Watercraft (22%) … and ... Cabin Motorboats (13%.) If an accident occurs, the operator/owner is required to file a Boating Accident Report when … 1 … A person dies, or a person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury … 2 … A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid ... 3 … Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more ... 4 … There is a complete loss of any vessel. Regulations require that an operator/owner file an accident report within 48 hours of an occurrence if ... 5 … A person dies within 24 hours of the occurrence … 6 … A person requires medical treatment beyond first aid, and a person disappears from the vessel … Accident reports are required within 10 days if there is damage to the vessel and property but all passengers are unharmed. These are sobering statistics, but with the proper training and education serious Skippers can take steps to help ensure all passengers arrive back at the dock safe and sound. To begin, if you aren’t an experienced boater, take a boating safety course. If members of your family haven’t taken safe boating classes, send them too, or bring them with you as a family. If your friends haven’t taken safe boating classes, recommend that they do … Important Notice … On April 1, 2021 a new federal law was put into effect that requires the operator of a boat with an installed Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS) to use the ECOS link. This link gets attached to your belt loop or other appropriate part of your clothing. The law applies on all "Navigable Waters of the US".
Remember ... Smart Boating is Safe Boating