Boat fatality rate continues decline

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The U.S. Coast Guard has released its annual publication, Recreational Boating Statistics 2010. In 2010 the Coast Guard counted 4604 accidents and 672 deaths, which translates to a fatality rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This represents a 6.9% decrease from the fatality rate in 2009, and the number of accidents also decreased by 8.7%, while the number of injuries was down 6.1%.

The total number of registered recreational vessels in 2010 was 12,438,926, which is a 2.2% decrease from 2009.

Almost 75% of all fatalities drowned, and of those 80% were using vessels less than 21 feet long. Alcohol use was listed as the leading contributing factor in 19% of the deaths.

The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46%), personal watercraft (20%), and cabin motorboats (14%).

By Ocean Navigator