The USCG on Boating Safety

The USCG has issued their 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics, a 79 page document telling us all about deaths and accidents. The good news is there were less deaths in 2012 than in 2011 but there are a number of other items that caught my attention.

  • Booze was the major contributing factor in accidents. It was a factor in 109 deaths and 227 injuries.
  • In my home state of Washington, there were twice as many deaths in 2012 compared to 2011.
  • Deaths offshore dropped from 7 in 2011 to 2 in 2012. I guess being offshore is a pretty safe place to be.
  • Of the 459 individuals who drowned, 379 were NOT wearing life jackets.

There is a lot of information in this report but if I was to take away two things they would be:

  1. Pay attention to what you are doing
  2. Wear your life jacket

It has been shown that most accidents are the result of a number of things going wrong at the same time. When we hear of a miraculous event where a disaster has been averted many times this is due to eliminating one or two minor issues by being attentive and thinking quickly and decisively.

Let’s hope that the 2013 report shows a positive trend with less accidents and less deaths.