Boating Accidents

May 2, 2016
Prevent Boating Accidents

Boating accidents are nearly one hundred percent avoidable.  Together we can improve the Accident Statistics this year by simply refocusing on safety.  It’s that time of year when you have pulled the boat out of the garage or pulled the cover off after a long winter’s nap, and you are cleaning the boat and waxing up the hull for another fun boating season.   It is hard sometimes to refocus our thoughts after many seasons of safe boating.  Remember what you did to accomplish that.  Ninety nine percent of boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities could have been avoided.  They stem from HUMAN ERROR.


They tell us that, (whoever “they” may be) 75% of all boating accidents are caused by operator inattention, poor decision making, or poor operating skills.  Secondly, 15% of all boating accidents are caused by the environment.  Finally 10% of all Boating Accidents are caused by Equipment Failure.  Please allow me to indulge and take umbrage with this.  

Operator inattention, poor decision making and operating skills can always be improved.

How can we improve this: I know what my students are saying loudly “Check your Charts!” Know the area well. Always check the weather before you go out. Do not just zip by those Informational White and Orange Buoys. Read, Understand, and Heed the information/instructions conveyed to you as an operator.  which most likely could have been prevented if the operator had not overlooked the warning signals

How can we improve this: DO YOUR PRE-TRIP INSPECTION 100% OF THE TIME. There is no excuse for this. We are only talking about 10 minutes max. You should have 3 tiers of Inspections. 1. Every Time Pre-Trip. 2. Monthly more thorough Go through. 3. Fine Tooth Comb Mid-season, Winterize, and Spring Launch. Most of us use the boat on the weekends, take some time during the week to do inspections.

Here is a great link to a Pre-Departure Checklist  from the USPS out of Key West:  Pre-Departure Checklist (PDF) (

We want all of you to be safe.  Let’s have a Safer year on the water!  Check out our Public Course Schedule for available classes!

Happy Boating.