US Coast Guard Releases Annual Safety Statistics

Recently, the U.S. Coast Guard released its annual report on recreational boating for 2011, showing boating fatalities rose 12.8 percent from 672 to 758. The USCG report comes on the heels of NMMA's latest statistical abstract, which notes an increase in participation for recreational boating and would certainly have an impact on the safety statistics reported. In 2011, U.S. boating participation increased an estimated ten percent to 83 million boaters, the largest proportion of adults (34.8 percent) who went boating since 1997, when 35.8 percent participated.

The USCG report also shows that from 2010 to 2011, total reported accidents decreased less than one percent from 4,604 to 4,588, and injuries decreased 2.3 percent from 3,153 to 3,081. Property damage totaled approximately $52 million. The fatality rate measured 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, a 14.8 percent increase from last year's rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Seventy percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Only 11 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction.

You can access additional boating participation information in NMMA's full press release. To read the USCG's latest safety report, follow this link

or read the full USCG reports dating from 1999 here