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USCG 2021 Recreational Boating Statistics Reveal Good News

Found USCG 2021 Recreational Boating Statistics photo 7_11_22

When boat sales surged during the pandemic and a large influx of new boaters took to the water, there was a consequential rise in boating accidents and fatalities. Fortunately, the U.S. Coast Guard delivered some promising news in its recently released 2021 Recreational Boating Statistics: Accidents are down dramatically.

The report reveals that in 2021, boating accidents declined by 15.7 percent, injuries decreased by 17.2 percent, fatalities decreased by 14.2 percent, and the fatality rate decreased from 6.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2020 to 5.5 deaths per 100,000.

“The new report shows a dramatic decrease in injuries in fatalities, more than I can recall in recent memory,” said BoatUS Foundation president Chris Edmonston in a press release. However, while the Covid surge of new boaters may be slowing down, Edmonston warns that operator inexperience remains one of the top risk factors for accidents. Other top risk factors include operator inattention, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed.

While it’s too soon to say if these numbers are an anomaly, Edmonston says this positive trend can likely be attributed to the increasing number of states requiring boating safety education. By comparison, paddlecraft operators typically don’t have any education requirements, and the 2021 statistics show that 15 percent of deaths were kayak-related, which is unchanged from the prior year. 

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