Summer boating is upon us! As much as everyone looks forward to it and enjoys being on the water, the statistics remind us to take precautions and carry the right tools.
The 2012 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics report was recently released and reports some good news. The overall number of boating accidents and deaths has decreased from 2011. Likewise, damages sustained to property from all accident types decreased compared to the previous year.
Other statistics we like to watch are the incidences of collisions with fixed objects and the number of groundings. Fortunately, the number of deaths from these types of accidents declined from 2011. However, the sheer number of accidents and the resulting property damaged from collisions and groundings increased. In fact, just under 900 accidents caused nearly $10 million dollars in damages!
Experts will tell you that it is critical to carry and use accurate charts. “Recreational boaters, unlike commercial mariners, are not required to carry nautical charts. But as more demands are put on our waterways, busy coasts mean more risk for accidents,” says Capt. John Lowell, former director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “By using charts that are current, people have a better chance of avoiding potential groundings and other accidents.”
Begin this boating season right by taking a few simple steps: get up-to-date charts, take a safety course and require that life jackets be worn on board.
Here’s to a safe boating season!