The majority of fatalities occur involving boats of less than 26′, in calm water with waves less than 6” and in light wind (0-6 mph), during the months of June and July, on a Saturday, between 2:30pm -6:30pm.
In 2011, the Coast Guard counted 4588 accidents that involved 758 deaths, 3081 injuries and approximately $52 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
70% of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, of those, 84% were not wearing a life jacket. Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
Only 11% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.
Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of the deaths.
Fifteen children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2011. 60% of the children who died in 2011 died from drowning. 78% of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.
Can you pass the quiz? Safe Boating “Quick Quiz“?
- Contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for “the Handbook of Indiana boating Laws and Responsibilities” at www.in.gov/dnr or 317-232-4010.
- Online safe boating courses:
- IN Department of Natural Resources- http://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/education/boat-edu.htm
- US Power Squadron- http://www.usps.org/
- US Coast Guard Auxiliary- www.cgaux.org
- Boat US Foundation- http://www.boatus.org/onlinecourse/. The course is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Association of Boating Law Administrators and is accepted by many states as a certified boating safety course.
- Download the Boat handbook at www.boat-ed.com/in/handbook or contact your local DNR office for a copy.
- Forums for discussion and sharing- www.Boated.com