2007 Boating Statistics
The Coast Guard has recently released the updated statistics for the year 2007. Here is a re-print and some comparisons of the 2007 boating data.
• When comparing 2006 and 2007, the number of deaths dropped from 710 to 685. However, other casualty figures increased: accidents rose from 4967 to 5191, injuries rose from 3474 to 3673, and damages rose from $43,670,424 to $53,106,496.
•Over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, ninety (90) percent were not wearing a life jacket.
• Three out of every four boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
• Operator inattention, careless/reckless operation, passenger/skier behavior, excessive speed, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
• Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 21% of the deaths.
• Sixteen (16) children age 12 and under lost their lives while boating in 2007, compared to 29 children in 2006 and 21 children in 2005. Half (8) of the children who died in 2007 died from drowning.
• The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (44%), personal watercraft (24%), and cabin motorboats (15%). The number of deaths associated with the use of canoes/kayaks increased to 107 in 2007 as compared with 99 in 2006.
• The 12,875,568 vessels registered by the States in 2007 represent a one percent increase from last year when 12,746,126 vessels were registered.
Finally, just to keep these statistics in perspective, in addition to drowning, collisions, and fire, jumping fish accounted for three injuries in 2007. With this in mind, remember that a safe boater is conscious of where to find PFDs, fire extinguishers, and kamikaze fish.