Re: [bolger] Boating fatalities (Pirates)
----- Original Message -----
From: "GarthAB" <garth@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 9:55 AM
Subject: [bolger] Boating fatalities
> The earlier discussion of a Micro ocean crossing got me wondering:
> just how many people DO die each year offshore? We tend to hear the
> heroic stories of those who survived difficult conditions, but the
> dead ones often have no one to tell their tale. I did a Google search
> for boating fatalities, and didn't find the one nugget of statistics
> that would answer my question, but did find these US Coast Guard
> documents. I'll paste in a link to a web page where you can download
> USCG accident and fatality reports by year.
> The reports are in PDF and about 180-200K so I won't link you to the
> docs themselves. But a glance through the 2000 report is pretty
> -- 519 boaters drowned in 2000, and there were 701 total fatalities
> (most years total fatalities are between 700 and 900).
> -- Wearing a life jacket would have saved about 445 of these people
> -- 83% of all fatalities occured in boats under 26' in length
> -- Alcohol was involved in 31% of all accidents.
> -- Nearly 70% of all accidents involved some "operator-controllable"
> factor like carelessness,inattention, recklessness, inexperience,
> unsafe speed, or no lookout.
> -- a very large percentage of accidentsand fatalities occured
> on "open motorboats." Sailboats had a fairly small percentage.
> "Canoes and kayaks" were second to the open motorboats.
> -- The biggest percentage of deaths occurred in CALM, WARM water and
> light winds.
> -- And, closest data to my question: the USCG breaks down the
> accident and fatality data into "Type of Body of Water."
> The category "Ocean/Gulf" had 33 fatalities out of 701, for about
> 4.7% of the total. The Great Lakes (doesn't say how close to shore)
> accounted for 23 more.
> The biggest numbers were "Rivers, streams and creeks" with 234
> fatalities, and "Lakes, ponds, reservoirs, dams" with 304.
> "Bays, Inlets, Sounds, Harbors" accounted for 68.
> There's a ton of info here for the morbidly curious. It's all very
> sobering and makes me want to wear a PFD even here at my computer.
> The numbers are skewed of course, because far more people -- and
> especially the inexperienced and unprepared ones -- go boating on
> lakes and streams than ever venture out into the open sea, so we'll
> never really get a clear picture of the relative risk. But the
> absolute numbers are interesting.
> All best,
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