USCG Recreational boating safety factsWhile these numbers are from 2014 (latest year available) they still are effective in showing statistics and trends.

While these numbers are from 2014 (latest year available) they still are effective in showing statistics and trends. In short life jackets save lives. Here are the highlights

  • 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.
  • The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This rate represents a 10.6% increase from last year’s fatality rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
  • Compared to 2013, the number of accidents increased 0.05%, the number of deaths increased 8.9%, and the number of injuries increased 2.2%.
  • 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.

Michigan specific facts:

Deaths where alcohol use as a contributing factor:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
8 4 1 1 4

Accidents where alcohol use as a contributing factor:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
16 11 8 6 8

 

Small boats are more prone to accidental deaths:

deaths by vessel length

As you can see age and experience is not relevant:

operator information of accidents

In short take a boating class or review the documents every year to make sure you are safe out there!

Always have a designated Captain!

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