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USCG 2014 Recreational Boating Statistics

USCG 2014 Recreational Boating Statistics

U.S. Coast Guard released their annual recreational boating accident statistics report on Wednesday May 13th, 2015. Total counts for 2014 BARD reported accidents were 4,064 accidents, 2,678 injuries, and 610 fatalities.

USCG reported 153 propeller accidents, 148 propeller injuries, and 22 propeller fatalities.

We would like to thank USCG for all the efforts they put into this annual statistical report of boating accidents.

We would also like to thank USCG, law enforcement officials, lake patrols, first responders, nurses and physicians, those offering boating safety classes, boat safety equipment check points, safe boaters, state boating law administrators, life jacket loaner program participants, Operation Dry Water, and all others who work tirelessly to drive these annual totals down.


Children and adults have been falling off the bow of pontoon boats and being stuck by the propeller for decades. A typical scenario involves children sitting on the bow, outside the fence, with their feet dangling in the water as the boat moves forward. They hit a larger wake or wave and are pulled overboard by their feet, or the boat operator suddenly slows the boat and they rotate over the bow. Either way, they hit the water while the boat is still advancing. The operator quickly pulls the boat to neutral but it is too late. They hear a thud from the child’s body hitting the propeller and the water quickly turns blood red behind the boat.

Pontoon Boat anchor on shore

Pontoon Boat anchored on shore

This post will identify some ways to prevent these accidents. We will not focus on the contributions of rapid access to onsite medical care and quick transit to a major trauma hospital. Read More→

U.S. Coast Guard emblemThe U.S. Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) will be holding its 92nd meeting on November 6th-8th, 2014 in Arlington, Virgina.

Nonprofit Grant Comments

For the first time ever, they invited public comments about non-profit grant interest areas before the meeting. Each year the Coast Guard awards nonprofits a tidy some of money to promote boating safety and to run some studies, like the annual life jacket wear rate study. In 2013, the grants totaled over $5.5 million. Many boating safety organization live and die by these grants. Read More→

0 Categories : Regulations

This series of posts discusses the duty of boat manufacturers, marine drive manufacturers, and other boating product manufacturers to monitor their products after sale to identify potential safety issues. Manufacturers are legally required to warn boaters (customers) of significant risks discovered after sale.

These posts are NOT professional legal advice. They were written to stimulate action and discussion on these topics.

A major resource for monitoring boat and marine drive accidents after sale is the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD).

This series of articles reveals as many as 32 to 45 percent of accidents annually reported to USCG are invisible in the BARD database as supplied to manufacturers and safety experts. This articles call for making those accidents visible, and explain how that could be done.

Our in-depth coverage is divided into 5 segments.

1. Handout summarizing our coverage
 
2. Post Sale Duty to Monitor Product Risks / Accidents: Boating Industry
 
3. Moral Responsibility to Monitor Products Post Sale: Boating Industry
 
4. How to Monitor Boating Product Accidents / Risks Post Sale
 
5. Full access to BARD is CRITICAL for monitoring product safety after sale
 
6. We encourage you to return to item #1 the summary handout


Read More→

Many opportunities exist for manufacturers of boating products to monitor their products after sale for previously unknown safety issues, risk, and hazards.

The legal, regulatory, and moral obligations to monitor boating products post sale / post market / conduct post sale surveillance and vigilance are detailed in two previous posts.

This series of posts is NOT legal advice. The articles were written to stimulate action and conversation on this topic

This post is part of a series of posts. Links to the other posts can be found in the Introduction.

Below we will discuss some of the major sources and opportunities for post sale marketing, then conclude with an extensive list of those sources. Read More→

2013 BARD query sample

2013 BARD query sample

Before anyone gets caught up in the title and thinks we are asking for full access to private information in BARD, please put that to rest. We are not calling for access to Personally Identifying Information (PII). We are calling for access to accidents that are hidden from view.

This post is part of a series of posts. Links to the other posts can be found in the Introduction.

As laid out in our recent series of articles:

  • Boating industry manufacturers have legal obligation in the U.S. to report significant safety hazards discovered by them post sale to the U.S. Coast Guard and to take appropriate actions.
  • The legal duty (responsibility) boating manufacturers in the U.S. owe their U.S. customers to actively monitor their products post sale and warn existing owners of significant safety risks discovered post sale is currently in a state of flux. Some states/courts say yes, some courts say no, some courts base decisions on circumstances (size of manufacturer, ability to identify and warn customers, cost to warn vs. risk, etc.), others directly apply the Third Restatement of Torts.
  • In the European Union (EU) boating industry manufacturers have a regulatory obligation to actively monitor their products post sale and to warn their customers of significant safety risks identified post sale meeting certain criteria. The E.U. defines a stringent criteria for such monitoring.

    Product Safety in Europe: A Guide to Corrective Action Including Recalls
     

    “Producers and distributors must have procedures for monitoring problems with their products. This means you need to have systems to collect and analyze the following information:

    • Reports of accidents involving your products
    • Complaints from customers, directly or via retailers
    • Warranty claims
    • Insurance claims or legal actions
    • Non-compliances reported by the company’s quality control procedures or by other organisations
    • Results of product testing
    • Information from service engineers
    • Reports on returned components and products
    • Any evidence of hazards arising from sales to unexpected user groups
    • Any evidence of consumer abuse or misuse of the product
    • Any evidence of malicious tampering with products

     
    This information needs to be reviewed regularly for signs that there may be a risk to consumers from any of the company’s products. This is especially important when the design of products changes or new component suppliers are used. If distributors have this information, they should share it with producers.”

  • Boating industry manufacturers have a moral obligation to monitor the post sale performance of their products in the U.S. for significant safety issues and protect their customers by warning then, recalling the products, or taking other appropriate actions.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database, BARD, is or should be a leading external source for monitoring boating accidents for most boat builders and marine drive manufacturers in the United States.

Read More→

Nicholas Milligan's Boat / RIB

Investigators at the 2013 Nicholas Milligan family accident in the U.K.

Manufacturers can be responsible for tracking post sale accidents worldwide such as this very high profile U.K. accident in which two were killed and two were critically injured. Boat builders, marine drive manufacturers, and other boating industry manufacturers have a duty to design, manufacture, and sell safe products. However, it does not end there. A post sale (post-sale) duty to warn of hazards, risks, accidents, incidents discovered after sale exists in some situations. Monitoring post sale risks is often called monitoring post sale performance by the legal community.

We note this post sale monitoring requirement can extend to aftermarket parts and accessory manufacturers as well.

The point of this post is that in order for a manufacture to warn customers of post sale of risks discovered after the sale, the manufacturer must monitor its products in the field, sometimes called post sale or post market surveillance to identify those risks. Read More→

We updated the list of boat operators ejected from bass boats underway in open water today (24 September 2014).

Most of the updates come from 2013 BARD (U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database) data. Many of these accidents involve circling unmanned boats.

New Skeeter bass boats at 2014 Tulsa Boat Show

New Skeeter bass boats at 2014 Tulsa Boat Show

Skeeter is shown as a representative bass boat. They have a long history and ties to one of the earliest bass boat designs.


We recently spent some time updating our list of Pontoon Boat Bowriding propeller accidents.

Since our October 2013 update, we have become aware of or identified about 15 more over the bow pontoon boat propeller accidents. They are mostly 2013 and 2014 accidents. Several of the new 2013 accidents come from the recently released 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (Public BARD).

We felt the need to update our list in the wake of three recent over the bow pontoon boat accidents in 8 days (June 30 – July 7th, 2014), including one here in Oklahoma.

The new updated list is now available from our previous post at Pontoon Boat Bow Riding and Over the Bow Propeller Accidents List. The list has grown to over 150 accidents.

We plan to write a post addressing this issue soon.

Placement of propeller warning on pontoon boat at 2013 Tulsa Boat Show

Placement of propeller warning on pontoon boat at 2013 Tulsa Boat Show

Back in February 2012 we developed a list of outboard motors striking submerged objects, breaking off, and flipping into boats. We instantly noted a large percentage of these accidents involve bass boats with high horsepower outboard motors.

We have since identified 21 occurring since February 2012, plus several earlier ones. Many of the accidents we continue to identify are bass boats in which either the outboard motor swivel bracket broke, or the jack plate failed to retain the drive and the outboard jumped into / entered the boat.

Three of these accidents involving bass boats occurred within a 30 day period spanning April and May 2014

To better call attention to this issue we created a list of outboard motors of 150 or more horsepower that have flipped /jumped into boats since 1999. Much more information on each of these accidents is available from the full list of accidents linked to above.

As we mentioned on the list of outboard of all sizes jumping in, this is only a partial list of accidents. Many accidents are not reported and many states refuse to make their accident reports public in the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Accident Report Database (BARD).

Several of these bass boat accidents occurred during tournaments or pre-fishing for tournaments, and some involve well known bass fishing professionals (bass pros). Read More→