The majority of boating-related incidents and fatalities are caused by:
- Not wearing a lifejacket or PFD
- Falling overboard
- Capsizing, swamping, sinking, or running aground
- Being involved in a collision
- Operating a pleasure craft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Collisions often occur because pleasure craft operators are not staying alert and keeping a lookout for other boats or objects, or are going a little faster than they should. Although some collisions happen at night when it is difficult to see, many occur in daylight hours on calm, clear days. About one-third of the time, alcohol is involved boating fatalities.
You also might be surprised to learn that 90% of those who drown while boating were not wearing a lifejacket or PFD even though there were enough lifejackets and PFDs on the pleasure craft.