Many Los Angeles residents are recreational boating enthusiasts and, whether for fun or practicality, boating can be dangerous if not done with attention to proper safety measures. The perils that may arise at sea, or on a lake or river, must never be ignored by any boater. California boating authorities issue safety measures and awareness programs every year to make the boating public aware of the requisite safety measures.
Recreational boating accidents may include injuries to boat passengers as well as damage to the vessel itself. The consequences of not following safety practices include disappearance at sea of passengers or the vessel itself, drowning, injury to boat occupants, damage to the boat to the point of incapacitation or loss of location. Almost 600 fatal boating accidents were recorded in the last group of statistics collected, which indicated a decrease from previous years. Statistics also showed that not only boating accident-related fatalities were dropping but also that the number of boating accidents and boating-related injuries also declined.
In the cases of boating accidents reported to the authorities, it was found that most fatal boating accidents resulted in drowning and that 84 percent of those drowning victims were not wearing life preservers. Boating accidents were reduced by a large margin, to 13 percent, in cases where the boat's operator was trained and had followed related boating safety instructions.
Like many land vehicle accidents, alcohol consumption by the boat operator played a significant role in increasing the chances of a boating accident occurring. Furthermore, distracted operation as well as speeding and lack of experience were found to be major causes of boating accidents. Boating accident victims may suffer grave physical and psychological impairment due to the experience, which is why safe boating operation is required by law.
Source: BTS.gov, "Recreational boating accident reporting database," Accessed on Dec. 4, 2014