On May 13, the U.S. Coast Guard
released its report on recreational boating statistics for 2013 and announced a
new record low of 560 boating fatalities last year. The fatality rate per
100,000 registered boats was 4.7, down 13 percent form a reported 5.4 in 2012.
"This is great news that confirms recreational boating is a safe form of family
fun,” says MRAA president Matt Gruhn. "State and federal boating
safety programs are working. Marine retailers are contributing to these
educational efforts by providing in-house safety education. Many retailers also
are providing on-water instruction.”
Other statistics released by USCG indicate alcohol use was listed as a
contributing factor in 16 percent of boating-related deaths. When the cause of
death was known, 77 percent of fatal boating accidents were caused by drowning
and 84 percent were the result of not wearing a life jacket. In 20 percent of last
year’s reported deaths, the boat operator had received boating safety
The total number of reported boating accidents in 2013 was 4,062, with a
reported $39 million in property damage.