Coast Guard releases 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics; concerns, accidents, fatalities for Great Lakes states

united states coast guard 

News Release  

May 31, 2017
U.S. Coast Guard 9th District Great Lakes
Contact: 9th District Public Affairs
Office: (216) 902-6020
After Hours: (216) 310-2608

Coast Guard releases 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics; concerns, accidents, fatalities for Great Lakes states



CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Coast Guard released its 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics Report Wednesday, revealing that boating fatalities nationwide that year totaled 701, a 12% increase from 2015.

Paddlecraft, including canoes, kayaks, and stand-up-paddleboards accounted for 24% of the lives lost for 2016, second to open motorboats with 47% of deaths.


Eighty percent of boating accident victims drowned and of those, 83% were not wearing a life jacket.

“In regards to the primary contributing factors of boating accidents, six of the top 10 are directly related to the behavior or actions of the operator,” said Mike Baron, the recreational boating safety specialist for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “It’s the operator’s responsibility to always practice good risk management and provide for the safety of passengers and safety of fellow boaters.”

Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

 “By an operator’s practicing proper safety, paying attention to their surroundings, practicing good seamanship, and boating education, many of these accidents could be prevented,” Baron said.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, attach your engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check and avoid alcohol or other impairing substance consumption.

Illinois had 74 reported boating accidents with nine fatalities and 40 injured people.

Indiana had 40 reported boating accidents with seven fatalities and 27 injured people.

Michigan had 125 reported boating accidents with 38 fatalities and 65 injured people.

Minnesota had 96 reported boating accidents with 17 fatalities and 72 injured people.

New York had 188 reported boating accidents with 22 fatalities and 149 injured people.

Ohio had 113 reported boating accidents with 12 fatalities and 55 injured people.

Pennsylvania had 55 reported boating accidents with 11 fatalities and 33 injured people.

Wisconsin had 103 boating accidents with 20 fatalities and 72 injured people.

To view the 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics, go to Accident Statistics.