2010 Boating Statistics in Washington State

The U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,604 boating accidents in 2010. Of those accidents, 672 fatalities were involved.

There were 3,153 injuries and approximately $35.5 million of property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. That makes the fatality rate in 2010, 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This rate represents a 6.9% decrease from 2009 – which was 5.8 fatalities per 100,000 vessels.

Another comparison to 2009, the number of accidents decreased 2.66%, the amount of deaths decreased 8.70%, and the number of injuries decreased 6.10%.

Around three-fourths of fatal boating accident victims drowned – 88% were not wearing a life jacket.

Only 9% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator received boating safety instructions – and only 6% of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator received boating safety instruction from a NASBLA-approved course.

Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
Operator inexperience, inattention, excessive speed, improper lookout, and alcohol rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

Alcohol was the leading factor in 19% of the boating deaths.

Twenty-one children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating.

42% of the children who died was a result from drowning. 44% of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket even though only half of them were required to do so by state law.

The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (20%), and cabin motorboats (14%).

The 12,438,926 recreational vessels registered by the states in 2010 represent a 2.2% decrease from last year when 12,721,541 recreational vessels were registered.

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