USCG Releases Recreational Boating Statistics 2011

USCG Boating Statistics 2011 cover

USCG Recreational Boating Statistics 2011

We noticed the U.S. Coast Guard recently released their annual boating accident statistics report. The total fatality count for 2011 was 758 deaths (vs. 672 in 2010). USCG reported 197 propeller accidents (vs. 179 in 2010) and 35 propeller fatalities (vs. 27 in 2010). We note a substantial increase in the number of propeller accidents (up 20 accidents or 10 percent) and fatalities (up 8 fatalities or 30 percent). For a more in depth historical comparison of propeller accident data, please see our Propeller Accident Statistics page.

Table 17 (Frequency of Events in Accidents & Casualties Nationwide) continued to follow the format they adopted in 2009 based on our and SPIN’s suggestions and helps prevent people from getting Event 1 data (total number of times that event was the first thing to happen in any accident) confused with the total number of Events (the total number of times that event happened in all accidents).

However, Table 16 (Accident, Vessel & Casualty Numbers by Primary Accident Type 2011) still tends to mislead viewers into reading Event 1 data as the total number of accidents for a specific accident type if they do not read the table very carefully.

Pages 8 and 9 discuss changes to the publication this year (specifically the removal of “Passenger/skier behavior” and “careless/reckless operation” as causes due to the belief boaters would not self report those causes).

We noticed there was one Event 1 propeller accident involving a houseboat. We will followup on that accident and see if we spot any more houseboat propeller accidents in the full BARD (Boating Accident Report Database) for 2011 when we get some time. We also notice several Event 1 propeller accidents involving longer vessels (one 33 footer, one 36 footer, two 40-65 footers). Some of those vessels may have also been houseboats but not classified as such.

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

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