In total, 2018 saw 4,145 boating accidents involving 633 deaths

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has released safety statistics for 2018 that show a decline in both boating accidents and deaths from the previous year.

In total, 2018 saw 4,145 boating accidents involving 633 deaths, 2,511 injuries and approximately US$46m in property damage. The numbers represent a 3.8% decrease in fatalities a 3.4% decline in accidents and 3.8% fewer injuries.

Not surprisingly, alcohol was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating incidents, listed as a leading factor in 19% of deaths. In accidents where the cause of death is known, 77% of fatalities drowned; of those, 84% were not wearing personal floatation devices (PFDs).

Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure, and excessive speed rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

In what could be an early indicator of the next two years for the US boating market, the 11,852,969 recreational vessels registered in the States in 2018 represent a 0.91% decrease from last year.