Boating Accidents, Causes and Prevention

Oct 1st 2015

The Usual Boating Accidents

Most boating accidents generally occur during pristine weather conditions. While poor weather conditions occasionally play a role, in most instances, “bad weather” accidents are infrequent. Overall, boating accidents occur in restrictive or narrow and very often involve open boats on inland waters. Indeed, most of these accidents often occur in daylight with good visibility, light winds and calm waters.

Not surprisingly, most boating accidents involving fatalities are not associated with bad weather or hazardous sea conditions. These accidents typically occur during ideal weather conditions which create a false sense of security to operators and passengers resulting passengers falling overboard boats swamping or capsizing.

Capsizing occurs when a boat turns bottom up, i.e. overturnscompletely and pours its passenger overboard. Swamping is the result of a boat being overwhelmed with water. When a boat is suddenly filled with water, it loses buoyancy or its ability to float in water and it sinks. A common denominator to the events of capsizing or swamping is that in either case, people are likely to be thrown overboard suddenly.

Predominant Causes of Boating Accidents

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) statistics for 2013 list six major factor are the causes of boating accidents, namely; alcohol use, excessive speed, improper lookout, machinery failure, operator inattention, and operator inexperience. All of these causes, but equipment failure, are directly linked to human error or a failure to exercise common sense by both the operators and passengers. The USCG estimates that these six (6) major factors were responsible for more than fifty (50%) of all boating accidents in 2013.

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Riding on the stern