U.S. Coast Guard sent us a copy of the Public Release version of their 2012 Boating Accident Report Database (BARD) in late May 2013. We were busy with a few other projects at that time, but recently had some time to look more closely at the database.
The big news is more states allowed their data to be included. Only 10 states and one territory refused to allow their data to be included (Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). If they reported on time, their summary data is included in the totals USCG previously published in their 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics annual report, but their individual accident data is not available in 2012 Public BARD. Several other states redacted one of more data fields, but allowed most of their data to be included.
The ten states and territories failing to report say they do so for privacy issues. After recent revelations out of Washington, D.C. (massive phone and Internet snooping by the Federal government) it seems pretty obvious to us that individuals in those states should have much larger more important privacy concerns than someone printing their boat Hull number and tying it to an accident date (no names or addresses are printed in Public BARD). We strongly encourage all states to report their data to help make boating safer in their state, and across the country.
About the same number of states and territories refused to report to 2011 Public BARD. This is still a great improvement over 2010 Public BARD when over 25 states and territories refused to allow their data to be included. Overall, in 2012 1,001 accident reports were deleted by the states vs. 997 in 2011, and 1,910 in 2010.
Updating Our Propeller Accident Lists
We sorted out the propeller accidents and identified some other accidents of interest (like struck dredge pipe, outboard flipped in, etc) and updated these lists over the last few days:
- Struck Dredge Pipe – added about 8 more 2012 accidents we had not previously identified
- Outboard Flipped In – added 5 more 2012 accidents we had not previously identified
- Pontoon Boat Bowriding Propeller Accidents – added 4 more 2012 accidents we had not previously identified
- Houseboat Propeller Accidents – none listed in 2012 Public BARD
We will try to update some of our other “lists” as time permits.
More BARD 2012 Comments
We are a little disappointed the reporting rates for drive manufacturer (who built the outboard, stern drive, etc) are flat, as are reporting rates for kill switch wear rates.
In 2011, 1283 of 4659 vessels reported a drive manufacturer (that includes removing 121 N/A reports) for a 27.5 percent reporting rate.
In 2012, 1295 of 4599 vessels reported a drive manufacturer (that includes removing 86 N/A reports) for a 28 percent reporting rate.
In 2011, 844 vessels reported kill switch wear status for an 18 percent reporting rate.
In 2012, 799 vessels reported kill switch wear status for a 17.4 percent reporting rate.
We encourage states to increase reporting rates on these two variables (drive manufacture and kill switch wear rate) to make their data more valuable and relevant to current issues.
As always, a big thanks to all those involved at the states and USCG that prepare and submit accident reports and compile BARD. We really appreciate it.