The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2014 Recreational Boating Statistics, revealing boating fatalities that year totaled 610, the second-lowest number of yearly boating fatalities on record. From 2013 to 2014, deaths increased from 560 to 610, an 8.9 percent increase, injuries increased from 2,620 to 2,678, a 2.2 percent increase and the total number of accidents increased from 4,062 to 4,064, a 0.05 percent increase. Even with these increases as compared to the record low year of 2013, 2012 to 2014 collectively set record lows for accidents, deaths and injuries.
The fatality rate of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 10.6 percent increase from the previous year’s rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Property damage totaled approximately $39 million.
“We thank our partners for their work in boating safety, particularly for the Wear It! and other key outreach initiatives promoting life jacket use, boating education efforts, and Operation Dry Water activities. Together, we focus on the important role of life jacket use, navigational knowledge and safe, sober boating to prevent accidents,” said Capt. Jon Burton, director of inspections and compliance at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.
The report states alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 21 percent of the deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and alcohol use ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
View the full report at http://www.uscgboating.org/library/accident-statistics/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2014.pdf.