604 deaths in 2014 from recreational boating accidents

The Coast Guard issued their 2014 Boating Safety Statistics.  The full report can be found at this link. Some of the highlights of the report are:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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