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2017 Boating accident stats released

Staff Reports

The 2017 Boating Accident Statistical Report has been released. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission encourages boaters to maintain a proper lookout. Lookout failure was the leading contributor to boating accidents.

There were 766 boating accidents in 2017, 52 more than last year. Out of those, 261 involved collisions, with 38 percent of those due to failing to maintain a proper lookout.

The number of fatalities (67) remained the same as last year with falls overboard being the leader since 2003 with drowning as the leading cause of death and 85 percent of these victims were not wearing a life jacket. Today’s boaters can choose from several models of light and comfortable inflatable belt-pack or over-the-shoulder life jackets that can be worn while fishing or enjoying the sun. Boating accident statistics support an important message: “Life Jackets Save Lives.”

“It’s important that while out relaxing and enjoying Florida’s beautiful waters, boaters remember to be safe,” said Lt. Seth Wagner from the FWC’s Boating and Waterways Section.