Take heed if you plan on hitting the waves this summer – recreational boating accidents kill hundreds and hurt thousands every year in the United States.
In late May, two boats collided at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The accident happened while one boat was headed downstream and the other upstream around 9:20pm. Something went wrong, and despite efforts to steer both boats away from each other, the two collided. One of the boats was so damaged it had to be towed from the lake. Three of the people onboard were injured, one severely enough to require airlifting to a nearby hospital. The most severely injured was a 24-year-old woman from Nashville.
Boating Accident Statistics
The U.S. Coast Guard recently released recreational boating accident statistics for 2015. That year, 4,158 accidents were documented by USCG, with 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries and approximately $42 million worth of property damage.
Compared to 2014, these statistics show a 2.3 percent increase in accidents, a 2.6 percent increase in fatalities and a 2.4 percent decrease in injuries. The most common cause of death was drowning, and 85 percent of drowning victims were not wearing life preservation vests.
The five most common contributing factors to accidents were
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
If you plan on boating this summer, take precautions to prevent accidents. Never drive a boat unless you are experienced. Never drive a boat inebriated, and avoid distractions. All passengers should be wearing life vests, and whoever is operating the boat should be equipped with a kill cord in case control of the boat is lost.
Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”