U.S. Coast Guard report finds boating accident deaths up in 2009

The United States Coast Guard just released their annual report, “Recreational Boating Statistics 2009.” Every year, the Coast Guard compiles statistics on recreational boating accidents. They base their data on accident reports filled out by people involved in the accidents.

In 2009, there were 736 boating accident fatalities and 3,358 injury accidents arising from 4,730 recreational boating accidents.

The Coast Guard reports that the number of deaths was 3.81 percent greater than the prior year even thought the number of boating accidents had decreased by 1.23 percent.


The leading causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive Speed
  • Improper lookout
  • Alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption is involved in 16% of boating accident fatalities.


Boating safety education is imperative; In 86% of boating accident deaths, the boat operator did not under go boating safety instruction.

Life jackets

The report also highlights the fact that wearing a life jacket saves life. According to Rear Admiral Kevin Cook, the Coast Guard’s Director of Prevention Policy

“Nearly 75 percent of the 736 people who died in boating accidents in 2009 drowned, and 84 percent of those victims reportedly were not wearing a life jacket.   The two most important things boaters can do to prevent the loss of life is to wear a life jacket and take a boater education course.”

Washington State Accident Statistics

In Washington State, there were 111 boating accidents in 2009 which was higher than the three previous years that saw 96, 97 and 98 accidents. There were 22 fatalities in the state.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent boating accident victims and their families. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.

Source: “Recreational Boating Statistics 2009.