USCG report on 2018 US boating accidents

LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,764Member ✭✭✭✭✭
The 2018 report is out.  If you've never read one of these reports, take a look.  Accident rates are down slightly from 2017, but the major conclusions are the same as ever:

* Most accidents happen on boats under 21' (because the vast majority of boats are that size)
* Most accidents involve operators who never took a boating safety course
* Most deaths are from drowning while not wearing a PFD
* A lot of accidents involve alcohol

So, to sum it up:  The most dangerous boat in the US is a small powerboat operated by a drunk with no boating education.  That lines up 100% with what I've seen in two decades on the water.


  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INPosts: 2,781Member ✭✭✭✭
    I'm glad that you submersed it for us, that's a lengthily report. Now I can pass on reading it. 
    Boat Name : Knot My Prolem

    2003 - 270
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,764Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I thought about this a bit more.  At first glance, it seems obvious that small boats are more dangerous than larger boats:

      Total boating deaths
          Boats under 26':  509 
          Boats over 26':  53 

    But that's actually misleading.  More accidents happen on small boats there are 10.4 million of them, compared to only 575,000 larger boats.  I did the math:

      Total boating deaths **per 100,000 registered boats** 
          Boats under 26':  4.9 
          Boats over 26':  9.2

    That's the opposite of what I expected.  And I was even more surprised to see that the highest death rate is on vessels 40-65 feet long: 15.4 per 100k boats.   
  • shawnmjrshawnmjr Detroit MIPosts: 1,548Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    I didn’t read the article, but I bet a big percentage of deaths on larger boats (over 26’) are due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Seems like your constantly hearing about people dying in there sleep from this on boats. I wonder what the numbers would be if you ruled those out. Most boats under 26 don’t have gennys or even sleeping room so the deaths on these boats are probably operator error. Dying from carbon monoxide poisoning is operator error too, but I’m talking about behind the wheel operator error. 

    I take what I said back, just read the article and it looks like only 8 were carbon monoxide poisoning. 
  • Michael TMichael T Posts: 6,725Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Often hard to parse out meaning from data! As my statistics professor once said "There are lies, damned lies then there are statistics." :-)
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,764Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    77% of deaths were from drowning.  Around 1% (8 deaths out of 633) were from carbon monoxide poisoning.  
    Post edited by LaRea on
  • Handymans342Handymans342 Posts: 7,958Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    I guess that big Korean cargo ship that just flipped over was operated by a drunk Korean who didnt have a captains license. LOL
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaPosts: 3,764Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Here's the executive summary:

    "In 2018, the Coast Guard counted 4,145 accidents that involved 633 deaths, 2,511 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.

     The fatality rate was 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This rate represents a 3.6% decrease from the 2017 fatality rate of 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

     Compared to 2017, the number of accidents decreased 3.4%, the number of deaths decreased 3.8%, and the number of injuries decreased 4.5%.

     Where cause of death was known, 77% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 84% were not wearing a life jacket.

     Where length was known, eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.

     Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of deaths.

     Where instruction was known, 74% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. Only 18% percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety education certificate.

     There were 177 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 25 deaths and 177 injuries.

     Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure, and excessive speed rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

     Where data was known, the most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (19%), and cabin motorboats (15%).

     Where data was known, the vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (50%), kayaks (13.5%), and canoes (7%).

     The 11,852,969 recreational vessels registered by the states in 2018 represent a 0.91% decrease from last year when 11,961,568 recreational vessels were registered."
Sign In or Register to comment.