No one thinks that a day on the water is going to end in death. Instead, many of us look forward to the recreational boating trips we can take each year. Yet each year hundreds of people are killed in boat accidents. The United States Coast Guard compiles annual statistics about these recreational boating accidents so that we can all understand the cause of accidents and develop appropriate safety measures to prevent future accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Ten Facts You Should Know Before You Leave Land
In May 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard released its 57th Annual Recreational Boating Statistics Report. According to the information gathered about fatal recreational boating accidents in 2015:
- There were 626 fatalities from recreational boat accidents in the United States in 2015.
- Fatal recreational boat accidents increased by more than two percent from 2014 to 2015.
- There were 22 children under the age of 13 who lost their lives in recreational boat accidents. Twelve of those children drowned.
- Drowning was the most common cause of death; 428 of the 626 deaths were due to drowning.
- Of the 428 drowning victims, 352 were known not to be wearing life jackets at the time of their deaths.
- There were 285 people who died in open motorboat accidents, making that the most common vessel involved in fatal recreational boat accidents.
- Collision with a fixed object was the most common type of accident that resulted in death.
- Alcohol use was a primary contributing factor in 91 fatalities, making it the most common primary contributing factor in fatal boat accidents during 2015.
- More deaths occurred on lakes, ponds, reservoirs, dams, and gravel pits than on any other type of waterway—including the open ocean.
- Fatal accidents occurred during every month of the year, but increased in May, June, July and August.
Of course, 2016 is a new boating season and everyone who goes out on the water is at risk of being hurt or killed in an accident. Accordingly, it is important to keep these statistics in mind and to take action to prevent accidents.
And It is Important to Know What to Do If Your Loved One Dies
If your loved one dies in a boat accident, then the statistics aren’t as important as what you do next. It is important to learn more about your rights by reading the related articles listed on this page and to learn more about protecting your recovery in a possible wrongful death case by contacting us via this website. We will make sure that you have the information that you need to make informed decisions about your future.