The U.S. Coast Guard has released its 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics report, revealing that boating fatalities nationwide that year totaled 626, the third lowest number of annual boating fatalities on record. From 2014 to 2015, injuries decreased from 2,678 to 2,613, a 2.4 percent decrease; deaths increased from 610 to 626, a 2.6 percent increase; and the total number of accidents increased from 4,064 to 4,158, a 2.3 percent increase.
The report also shows that in 2015:
- Alcohol was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents and was listed as the leading factor in 17 percent of deaths.
- Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
“We thank our boating safety partners for their efforts,” said Capt. Verne Gifford, of Inspections and Compliance at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. “They’ve done a tremendous amount of work educating the boating public, which has helped reduce injuries. However, boating under the influence and failure to wear life jackets remain among the leading factors contributing to most boating fatalities. Together, we must continue to work to reduce the numbers of accidents, injuries and deaths.”
View the 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics.