USCG releases Recreational Boating Statistics 2021

The U.S. Coast Guard released their annual 2021 recreational boating accident statistics report on 16 June 2022.

Total number of accidents, injuries, and deaths were down significantly in 2021.

2021 USCG NARD reported accident statistics were 4,439 accidents, 2,641 injuries, and 658 deaths.

2020 USCG BARD reported accident statistics were 5,265 accidents, 3,191 injuries, and 767 deaths

2019 USCG BARD reported accident statistics were 4,168 accidents 2,559 injuries, and 613 deaths.

USCG previously attributed the sharp increase in accidents, injuries, and fatalities in 2020 to a significant increase in boating during the pandemic.

USCG supplied no corresponding interpretation of the sharp decrease in accidents, injuries, and fatalities in 2021.

Similarly, propeller accidents, injuries, and deaths were considerably down in 2021.

2021 USCG BARD reported 188 propeller accidents, 191 injuries, and 24 deaths.

2020 USCG BARD reported 247 propeller accidents, 241 injuries, and 39 deaths.

2019 USCG BARD reported 171 propeller accidents, 155 injuries, and 35 fatalities.

Propeller accidents were considerably down in 2021 (down from 247 in 2020 to 191 in 2021).
Propeller injuries were considerable down from 241 in 2020 to 191 in 2021.
Propeller fatalities were considerably down from 39 in 2020 to 24 in 2021.

Discussion & Comments

We are still studying USCG annual Recreational Boating Statistics report and having some problems reconciling the new much lower accident numbers with what seemed like even greater growth in boating activity.

For those interested in historical statistics, see our Propeller Accident Statistics page.

Thanks to all those at USCG whose efforts helped make this annual statistical report of boating accidents possible.

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

Plus we thank the many search and dive teams that respond when things go bad and are able to help bring closure to the friends and families of those lost.

Plus thanks to all the state boating law administrators and all the officers in the field filling out the accident reports, and to the individuals that self reported their accidents.

And to those continuing to improve the accuracy and completeness of boat accident reports.

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