Boating Fatalities And Incidents Down In 2023 - The Fisherman

Boating Fatalities And Incidents Down In 2023

The Coast Guard’s “2023 Recreational Boating Statistics” annual report shows that fatalities were down 11.3% year-over-year, from 636 in 2022 to 564, and overall incidents declined 4.9%, from 4,040 to 3,844. Non-fatal injuries also decreased 4.3%, from 2,222 to 2,126.

Alcohol continued to be the leading contributor in fatal accidents, accounting for 79 deaths, or 17% of total fatalities.

“Boaters should remain vigilant on the water, as most incidents occur when you might least expect them — in good visibility, calm waters and little wind,” Capt. Amy Beach, inspections and compliance director, said in a statement. “The most frequent events involve collisions with other vessels, objects or groundings, which is why it is so important to keep a proper lookout, navigate at a safe speed, adhere to navigation rules and obey navigation aids.”

According to the report, deaths occurred predominantly on boats operated by individuals who had not received safety instruction. Drowning accounted for 75% of deaths, with 87% of those victims not wearing life jackets.

Other 2023 data points include:

  • The fatality rate was 4.9 deaths per 100,000 registered boats, a 9.3% decrease year-over-year.
  • Property damage totaled $63 million.
  • Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure were the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

The data are based on incidents that resulted in at least one of the following criteria: death, disappearance, injury that required medical treatment beyond first aid, damages to the vessels or other property that equaled or exceeded $2,000, or a loss of vessel.

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