Maryland ranks No. 9 in the nation for recreational boating accidents and No. 11 in the nation for boating fatalities, with boating mishaps causing 14 deaths in the state in 2013, according to statistics released this month by the Coast Guard.
The number of accidents in Maryland has fallen for three straight years, from 196 in 2010 to 184 in 2011, 145 in 2012 and 110 last year. But the number of deaths during that time has increased from nine to 14.
Nationally, the Coast Guard counted 4,062 accidents that involved 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries and approximately $39million of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. The fatality rate was 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, down from 5.4 the previous year.
Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure were the primary contributing factors in accidents.
Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths.
Twenty-two children under age 13 lost their lives while boating in 2013. Eight of them did so from drowning. Five who drowned were not wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.
The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (46 percent), personal watercraft (18 percent) and cabin motorboats (17percent).
The Annapolis Yacht Club has been awarded the Distinguished Emerald Club of the World award, as determined by the annual Distinguished Clubs of the World award program conducted by BoardRoom magazine.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun