A Course for Safe Boating
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102

California Boating 

A Course for Safe Boating

Chapter 5

u

Accident Prevention and Rescue

Trends in Boating Accidents

As in any other sport, an accident can always happen. Among the statewide

trends:

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The vast majority of boating deaths happen when small boats capsize,

passengers fall overboard or boats collide.

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As the population ages, accidents involving people over the age of 40, and

the injuries and deaths resulting from these accidents, is growing.

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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

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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

behaved irresponsibly.

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Many accidents, especially those that cause serious injury or death, happen

when boaters drink alcohol.

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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.

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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