Please select your home edition
Marina Exchange 728x90 1

Coast Guard hones in on safety as summer boating season commences in Northeast

by U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast 30 May 2018 04:18 UTC
United States Coast Guard © US Coast Guard

The Coast Guard released its 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics report Tuesday, revealing boating fatalities nationwide totaled 658, the second highest number in five years.

In the Northeast, recreational boating deaths decreased from 55 in 2016 to 54 in 2017. Thirty-nine of the 54 people who died drowned and 41 of the 54 deaths were the result of capsizing or falling overboard. Thirty-nine of the 54 people who died were not wearing a life jacket and 19 out of the 54 deaths involved a paddle craft.

"Last year, 39 people died because they were not wearing a life jacket and the majority of those victims drowned," said Walt Taylor, recreational boating safety coordinator for the First Coast Guard District. "I can assure you, none of these victims planned to have an accident that day; wear your life jacket."

Some additional important boating safety measures that can save your life include:

  • Wearing a life jacket can save your life. Nationally, seventy-six percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned, according to the 2017 statistics. Of those drowning victims, 84.5 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Children are not exempt from drowning. Be sure children boating with you all have properly fitted life jackets and know basic boating safety appropriate for their ages.
  • Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; where the primary cause was known, it is listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of deaths. Refrain from using alcohol or other impairing substances when operating boats or other watercraft.
  • Always have a marine VHF radio on your boat, along with an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon) in case of emergency, as cell phones may not be dependable while out on the water.
  • Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure, and alcohol use rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents, according to the 2017 statistics, so be sure you are not operating a boat or watercraft that is beyond your level of knowledge and handling skill.
  • Take a boating safety course or get a free safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, The 2017 statistics show 81 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, where instruction was known. About 14 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received a nationally approved boating safety education certificate.
  • Small boats and shallow water don't make for instant safety. The 2017 statistics show that eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length, so small boats and shallow water can be just as dangerous as larger vessels and deep water.
For more information on boating responsibly, go to

Information on the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Mobile App can be found at

Related Articles

US Coast Guard explains how to be safe
Over Memorial Day weekend on the water "We want to make sure everyone enjoying the holiday makes it home to their families at the end of the day," said Walt Taylor, the First Coast Guard District's recreational boating safety specialist. Posted on 24 May
Coast Guard breaks ice on Penobscot River
Coast Guard urges the public to remove all ice fishing shacks Crews of four Coast Guard ice-breakers are scheduled to begin the operation known as "Spring Breakout" to reduce the risk of land-side flooding as snow and river ice begin to melt and spring rains arrive. Posted on 21 Mar
USCG offers cold water safety tips for fishermen
Use caution and be prepared while on Lake Champlain The Coast Guard is urging ice fishermen and the public to use caution and be prepared while on Lake Champlain. Posted on 20 Feb
Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod holds memorial
40th anniversary memorial service held on Wednesday The crew of Air Station Cape Cod held a 40th anniversary memorial service Wednesday for the crew of Aircraft 1432 who gave the ultimate sacrifice on Feb. 18, 1979. Posted on 15 Feb
USCG continues search for missing fishermen
USCG continues search for missing fishermen Multiple Coast Guard crews and good Samaritans searched throughout the day Tuesday for two missing fishermen after their boat capsized and sank approximately two and half miles southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Posted on 2 Jan
Coast Guard rescues 4 fishermen 60 miles off Maine
Coast Guard rescued four fishermen Wednesday after abandoning their boat off the coast of Rockland The captain of the 76-foot fishing vessel Aaron and Melissa II radioed watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at approximately 7:45 a.m., reporting the fishing boat was taking on water. Posted on 15 Nov 2018
Coast Guard search for missing lobsterman
Coast Guard and local agencies are searching for a person in the water Tuesday near Doyle Island A good Samaritan reported to watchstanders at Sector Northern New England that he saw a person falling into the water from a 20-foot commercial lobster boat operating in the vicinity of Doyle Island. Posted on 24 Oct 2018
Coast Guard Foundation activates and response fund
Coast Guard Foundation activates and response fund The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today the activation of its Disaster Relief and Response Fund. Posted on 28 Sep 2018
Coast Guard rescues woman on Lake Champlain
After her 17-foot boat capsized near Schuyler Island Coast Guard Station Burlington crewmembers rescued a woman Tuesday evening after her 17-foot boat capsized on Lake Champlain near Schuyler Island. Posted on 19 Sep 2018
Coast Guard, local partners recover missing diver
20 hour search covers an area of 71 square nautical miles Coast Guard and local authorities recovered a missing scuba diver Thursday off Rockport. Posted on 8 Sep 2018
Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterRaymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - BOTTOMMarina Exchange FOOTER 1