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N.J. Boating Accidents Up Slightly In 2013, Report Shows

Nationally, boating accidents and deaths are down, Coast Guard says

Boating in Barnegat Bay in Bay Head, N.J. (Patch File Photo: Daniel Nee)
Boating in Barnegat Bay in Bay Head, N.J. (Patch File Photo: Daniel Nee)
An annual U.S. Coast Guard report on recreational boating shows New Jersey had more boating accidents and fatalities in 2013 than 2012, though the numbers were in line with general averages and below those of a few years ago.

In all, there were 123 boating accidents in the Garden State in 2013, up from 115 in 2012 but slightly below the 126 accidents that occurred in 2009, the most of the past five years. Of those accidents, eight were fatal. There were no accidents that resulted in multiple deaths; eight lives were lost in all. In 2012, there were seven deaths.

The report does not specify on which waterways the accidents occurred nor does it delve into the root causes of the accidents.

For comparative purposes, New York saw 180 accidents in 2013 that resulted in 15 deaths, Delaware had eight accidents that did not result in any deaths, and Maryland had 110 accidents that resulted in 13 deaths. New Jersey was the only state out of the four that had an increase, albeit slight, in accidents between 2012 and 2013.

Nationally, accidents overall decreased by 14 percent nationally between 2012 and 2013. The fatality rate for 2013 of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 13 percent decrease from the previous year's rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, the Coast Guard said. Property damage totaled approximately $39 million.

The report states alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

The report did not reference Superstorm Sandy's impact on recreational boating in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Last year, state officials told Patch the vast majority of debris left in waterways by the storm was cleaned up by the time boating season began.

The full report from the Coast Guard is available online.
Ken May 19, 2014 at 07:44 PM
I find that hard to believe! In 2013 it seemed like the bay was empty on weekends after Sandy
R Silva May 20, 2014 at 10:18 AM
I agree that the bay may have been empty but what about the lakes and rivers...with canoe and kayak accidents?
Daniel Nee May 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM
R Silva - Unfortunately the report doesn't specify waterways or locations.

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