Boat Accidents Over a 20-Year Span: Grim News - 04/20/2018
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When the U.S. Coast Guard sends a helicopter, and deploys a rescue swimmer, things are probably bad. But they’re only getting better.

If you ever thought to ask, “How are we doing?” regarding reducing boating accidents and the injuries and fatalities that result, the U.S. Coast Guard has the answer. And while the numbers at first blush look fairly positive, the trends indicated by a long-term analysis are not very good. Have a look at the actual numbers here.

Looking at multi-year statistics can yield all kinds of benefits, but there are many data points not included in the accompanying table and graph. To compare the actual numbers from the first and last years indicated, we could point to the 45% drop in accident figures – obviously great news. And injuries are down 37%. So more of the accidents in 2016 resulted in injuries compared to 1997 statistics. But the fatalities comparison is fairly chilling: They’ve only dropped 15%. So the 10% fatality rate in 1997 is now nearing 16% today. That’s approaching a one in six death rate for boating accidents. Be safe out there.

The following table and figure document the number of accidents and casualties from 1997-2016.

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Note: On July 2, 2001, the Federal threshold of property damage for reports of accidents involving recreational vessels changed from $500 to $2,000. Report is from 2016.

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