Florida Leads Nation in Boating Accidents

florida leads nation in boating accidentsHere in Florida, we have the luxury of plentiful water access across the state. Due to a number of opportunities to use our abundant shoreline, we undoubtedly have more people on boats and out on the water than other more landlocked states. However, it’s still startling to hear that despite all of our water safety resources, reminders, education, and warnings—including the tips we’ve shared on our blog—Florida still leads the nation in boating accidents. In fact, there were 684 boating accidents in Florida alone in 2016, compared to 581 in 2014, according to the Coast Guard.

Not surprisingly, many of the accidents that resulted in death in 2016 were completely avoidable. The Coast Guard reports that alcohol is the leading primary cause of death in boating accidents nationally, accounting for 15 percent of all deaths. Additionally, 83 percent of drowning victims nationally were not wearing life vests.

Here are some additional statistics on boating accidents from the Coast Guard’s 2016 report:

  • In 2016, there were 4,463 boating accidents nationally, with 701 deaths.
  • In 80 percent of fatal boating accidents, victims drowned.
  • Approximately 77 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.
  • Only 13 percent of the deaths occurred on boats where the operator did receive a nationally approved boating safety education course.

The Coast Guard also notes that there are five main contributing factors to boating accidents nationally:

  1. Operator Inattention
  2. Operator Inexperience
  3. Improper Lookout
  4. Excessive Speed
  5. Machinery Failure

It’s easy to see that accidents and deaths can be avoided by practicing safety out on the waters. Operators who received boating safety certifications were less likely to be involved in an accident resulting in a death. These types of safety tips exist for a reason—they work! It’s important to ensure that you are always following the rules of operating a vessel safely to protect you and your loved ones from harm on the water.

If you feel that you have been the victim of a boating accident that was caused by the negligence of a vessel operator or faulty boating equipment, it’s important that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney may be able to help you receive compensation for your injury or losses.


Winer, A. (2017, June 12). Despite warnings, Florida leads nation in boating accidents. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/despite-warnings-florida-leads-nation-in-boating-accidents

  1. S Coast Guard (2017, May 22). 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics[Scholarly project]. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from http://www.floridatrend.com/public/userfiles/news/pdfs/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2016.pdf