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How unsafe are recreational boating activities?

Boating accidents can be horrible accidents. The location of the accident can oftentimes make it difficult to obtain prompt medical care. For that reason, it is vital that anyone who is heading out on the waterways of Maryland in these last few weeks of nice weather know some of the most common causes of injuries and deaths for recreational boaters.

What are the most unsafe types of recreational boats?

According to the Coast Guard's national report, open motorboats were the most unsafe form of recreational boat in 2014. This type of boat was associated with 282 deaths and 1,390 injuries. Canoes and kayaks were associated with 133 deaths and 123 injuries. Personal watercraft were associated with 34 deaths and 592 injuries. Cabin motorboats were associated with 39 deaths and 592 injuries, while pontoons were associated with 17 deaths and 97 injuries.

What causes most recreational boating accidents?

Operator inattention is the most common cause of accidents, but alcohol use is the most common cause of deaths resulting from recreational boating accidents. Other common causes include excessive speed, improper lookout, navigation rules violations, weather, hazardous waters and operator inexperience.

How can I stay safe on the waterways?

One of the most important things you can do to stay safe is to wear a life jacket. When it comes to drowning deaths, only 64 out of 418 people who died had on a life jacket. Of those 418, it is unknown if 17 had on a life jacket. The remaining 337 didn't have on a life jacket.

One of the primary duties of a recreational boat owner is to keep passengers safe. If your loved one died because of the negligence of a boat operator, exploring your options for seeking compensation might help you decide if you want to proceed with a claim.

Source: United States Coast Guard, "2014 Recreational Boating Statistics," accessed Sep. 16, 2015

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