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  1. #1
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Boating Accidents decline

    Boating Accidents Decline in 35 States Over the Last Five Years

    NationallyAccidentsDecreased13percentfrom2002-2006; National Safe Boating Week Encourages Boatersto Help Prevent Accidents this Summer

    WASHINGTON, May 15/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As National Safe Boating Week kicks off (May 17-23), the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA) today released an analysis of boating safety data showing that the number of boating accidents has decreased in 35 states from 2002 to 2006. In fact, the decline in boating accidents in 22 states exceeds the five year national decline of 13 percent. Vermont (83 percent decrease) and Hawaii (71 percent decrease) ranked first and second for the most improved boating safety record. Florida and California, the states with the most registered boats, each saw a 24 percent decrease. According to the U.S. Coast Guard data PWIA used in its analysis, accidents involving personal watercraft (PWC) have declined 31 percent over the same five year period. Still, because most boating accidents are preventable, PWIA reminds boaters this National Safe Boating Week of steps they can take to improve boating safety in their states.

    "Most boating accidents are preventable if boaters take steps individually to avoid them," said Maureen Healey, executive director of the Personal Watercraft Industry Association. Healey is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Safe Boating Council. "Taking a boating safety class, wearing a life jacket, operating your boat defensively to avoid collisions, and boating sober are all steps that every boater can take that will prevent an enjoyable day from becoming a tragedy," Healey said. Coast Guard data shows that nine out of 10 boating fatality victims who drowned in 2006 were not wearing a life jacket.

    PWIA attributes boating safety improvements to many factors, including industry efforts to promote safe and responsible boating behavior. The personal watercraft industry has also helped enact laws at the state level that are effective in reducing accidents. These laws require PWC operators to pass an approved boating safety class, be at least 16 years old (18 to rent), operate PWC only during daylight hours; the law also establishes no-wake zones within 100 feet of shore or swimmers and punishes reckless operators.

    Education is especially critical. In 2006, there were a total of 710 boating fatalities nationwide, nearly three-quarters of which occurred on boats where the operator had not taken a boating safety course. The leading causes of boating accidents are all operator-controlled, such as inexperience, inattention, and excessive speed. The leading types of accidents include collisions with other vessels and collisions with fixed objects such as docks or channel markers.

    Thirty-two of the 35 states that have lowered the number of boating accidents in the last five years have some type of mandatory boater education law. For instance, Florida requires all boaters 21 years of age and younger to pass an approved boating course. Since the law was enacted in late 1996, the total number of boating accidents has decreased approximately 48 percent though the number of registered boats increased by 24 percent. Meanwhile, accidents involving personal watercraft in the state have declined by 76 percent.

    The table below shows the percentage change in the number of boating accidents from 2002-2006 for all 50 states. A negative percentage indicates a decrease in accidents, while a positive number indicates an increase in accidents. The chart also indicates whether the state has passed some type of mandatory boater education law.

    Mandatory Mandatory Boater Boater 5 yr % change Education 5 yr % change Education State 2002-2006 Law State 2002-2006 Law Alabama 24% Yes Montana -6% Yes Alaska 14% No Nebraska -6% Yes Arizona -4% No Nevada 19% Yes Arkansas -26% Yes New Hampshire 16% Yes California -24% No New Jersey 20% Yes Colorado -28% Yes New Mexico -17% Yes Connecticut -25% Yes New York -28% Yes Delaware -25% Yes North Carolina 27% Yes Florida -24% Yes North Dakota -56% Yes Georgia 14% Yes Ohio -21% Yes Hawaii -71% Yes Oklahoma -1% Yes Idaho 90% No Oregon -28% Yes Illinois -48% Yes Pennsylvania -24% Yes Indiana -47% Yes Rhode Island 19% Yes Iowa 5% Yes South Carolina -11% Yes Kansas -7% Yes South Dakota -11% No Kentucky -3% Yes Tennessee 16% Yes Louisiana -18% Yes Texas -4% Yes Maine -2% Yes Utah 12% Yes Maryland -14% Yes Vermont -83% Yes Massachusetts -10% Yes Virginia 13% Yes Michigan -18% Yes Washington -14% Yes Minnesota -7% Yes West Virginia 24% Yes Mississippi -28% Yes Wisconsin -33% Yes Missouri -9% Yes Wyoming 73% No
    PWIA recommends that boaters of all ages and levels of experience enroll in a class this National Safe Boating Week. Boating safety courses are available through many organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadrons. A PWC class is offered free online at Boaters should contact their state boating law agency for more information about where and when these courses are available.

    In addition to taking a boating safety course, PWIA recommends boaters take the following steps to improve safety on the water and help make sure that a day of boating starts and ends well:

    1. Always wear a life jacket (and wetsuit bottoms in the case of personal watercraft);
    2. Learn and follow all local navigation rules;
    3. Stay sober and never boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and
    4. Get a vessel safety inspection (offered free by many local organizations, it assures boats are equipped with proper safety gear and the vessel is in "sea worthy" condition).


    PWIA represents the four manufacturers of personal watercraft. As a result of remarkable technological advancements, modern personal watercraft are up to 90 percent cleaner and 70 percent quieter than those produced prior to 1998. PWIA advocates for state and local governments to implement reasonable guidelines such as mandatory boating safety education for PWC users, a minimum age of 16 to operate a PWC, use only during daylight hours, the establishment of no-wake zones, and strict enforcement of boating safety and navigation laws. Model legislation and other information on personal watercraft can be viewed at

  2. #2
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Travelers Notes Boating Safety as Accidents Rise

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    [Edit] | Written by davet ondocument.write(localTime('May 16, 2008 14:48 GMT')) May-16-08 7:48am From:

    On the eve of National Safe Boating Week, a report from the United States Coast Guard states the number of boating deaths, injuries and property damage increased for the second consecutive year, prompting boating experts to underscore the need for boat safety classes and education while calling for consumers to have proper insurance coverages.

    According to the report, there were 710 boating fatalities in 2006 versus 697 in 2005; 3,474 injuries compared to 3,451; and $43.7 million in property damage compared to $38.7 million. “Some of the most common and costliest claims we see are collisions, either with another boat or something in the water. Many of these accidents could have been prevented if people practiced safe boating,” said Chantal Cyr, vice president of Travelers’ Personal Insurance Boat and Yacht division. “With Memorial Day weekend approaching and summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to remind people to practice safe boating.”
    National Safe Boating Week, organized by the National Safe Boating Council, kicks off on May 17. This year’s theme is "Wear It!" emphasizing the importance of wearing life jackets. According to the Coast Guard, two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims in 2006 drowned; of those who drowned, 90 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets.
    “The National Safe Boating Council commends Travelers Insurance for realizing the importance of safe boating and for making its policy holders aware of educational opportunities and safety discounts available to safe boaters,” said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the NSBC. “Our data tells us that boaters who take safe boating courses are less apt to get into mishaps.”
    In addition to advocating safe boating, Travelers says boaters need to be familiar with the various insurance coverage options. “While you might think auto and boat coverage would be quite similar, coverages, price, and services can vary widely,” said Cyr. “Boat owners should take the time to understand the nuances of their insurance coverage.” For example, coverages can vary based on where the boat will be used, the length of the boating season, the experience of the person operating the boat and how the boat will be used.
    Cyr, who has more than 12 years of experience in the marine industry, said boaters should also be aware that there could be coverage exclusions such as damage related to ice and freezing, fishing equipment, mechanical breakdowns, wreck removal, as well as paying for environmental issues such as fuel spills.
    “The whole point of boating is to have fun with family and friends. If you’re boating safely and are confident you have the proper insurance coverage, you can relax and enjoy time on the water,” said Cyr.

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