Recreational Boating Facts
The 11,770,383 recreational vessels registered by the states in 2022 represent a 1.6% increase from last year when 11,957,886 recreational vessels were registered.
The fatality rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This rate represents a 1.8% decrease from the 2021 fatality rate of 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
In 2022, the Coast Guard counted:
- 4,040 accidents that involved 658 deaths
- 2,222 injuries
- $63 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
According to recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, where cause of death was known 85 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2022.
Where instruction was known, 74% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.
Where instruction was known, only 14% of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received nationally-approved boating safety instruction.
Drowning is the reported cause of death in 75% of all boating fatalities.
3 out of every 4 boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
The top five primary contributing factors in accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.
Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Where the primary cause was known, alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths.
There were 173 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 41 deaths and 182 injuries.
Where data was known, the most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (47%), kayaks (14%), personal watercraft and pontoons (both 9%).
- Florida (66 deaths; 448 injuries)
- California (43 deaths; 198 injuries)
- Texas (34 deaths; 132 injuries)
- Louisiana (29 deaths; 85 injuries)
- Tennessee (27 deaths; 52 injuries)
- New York (24 deaths; 67 injuries)
- Georgia (23 deaths; 60 injuries)
- South Carolina (22 deaths; 91 injuries)
- Wisconsin (20 deaths; 67 injuries)
- North Carolina (20 deaths; 64 injuries)
- Florida (712 accidents; 65 deaths)
- California (387 accidents; 42 deaths)
- Texas (201 accidents; 30 deaths)
- South Carolina (154 accidents; 24 deaths)
- North Carolina (152 accidents; 22 deaths)
- New York (143 accidents; 20 deaths)
- Missouri (126 accidents; 11 deaths)
- Ohio (124 accidents; 12 deaths)
- Maryland (119 accidents; 17 deaths)
- Tennessee (116 accidents; 24 deaths)
*Statistics are from the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2022 Recreational Boating Statistics