A Course for Safe Boating
Accident Prevention and Rescue
Trends in Boating Accidents
As in any other sport, an accident can always happen. Among the statewide
The vast majority of boating deaths happen when small boats capsize,
passengers fall overboard or boats collide.
As the population ages, accidents involving people over the age of 40, and
the injuries and deaths resulting from these accidents, is growing.
Thirty-five percent of youth operators involved in accidents were under
16 years old, and 88 percent of youth operators involved in accidents were
operating personal watercraft.
The Causes of Accidents
Coast Guard boating accident numbers show that a high percentage of
boating accidents, especially deadly accidents, occur when operators used
poor judgment, didn’t pay attention, did not have enough experience, and
Many accidents, especially those that cause serious injury or death, happen
when boaters drink alcohol.
Many accidents happen because boaters don’t have the right equipment, or
any safety equipment at all. Accidents also happen when operators don’t
know how to use their equipment, or don’t know the limits of their equip-
ment. And they may not maintain their equipment correctly.
Current trend shows the majority of personal watercraft involved in
accidents in California were either borrowed or rented.
Photo courtesy of Castaic Lake Aquatic Center