An annual U.S. Coast Guard report on recreational boating shows New Jersey had more boating accidents and fatalities in 2013 than 2012, though the numbers were in line with general averages and below those of a few years ago.
In all, there were 123 boating accidents in the Garden State in 2013, up from 115 in 2012 but slightly below the 126 accidents that occurred in 2009, the most of the past five years. Of those accidents, eight were fatal. There were no accidents that resulted in multiple deaths; eight lives were lost in all. In 2012, there were seven deaths.
The report does not specify on which waterways the accidents occurred nor does it delve into the root causes of the accidents.
For comparative purposes, New York saw 180 accidents in 2013 that resulted in 15 deaths, Delaware had eight accidents that did not result in any deaths, and Maryland had 110 accidents that resulted in 13 deaths. New Jersey was the only state out of the four that had an increase, albeit slight, in accidents between 2012 and 2013.
Nationally, accidents overall decreased by 14 percent nationally between 2012 and 2013. The
fatality rate for 2013 of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 registered
recreational vessels reflected a 13 percent decrease from the previous
year's rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels, the Coast Guard said.
Property damage totaled approximately $39 million.
report states alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in
fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16
percent of deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator
inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top
five primary contributing factors in accidents.
The report did not reference Superstorm Sandy's impact on recreational boating in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. Last year, state officials told Patch the vast majority of debris left in waterways by the storm was cleaned up by the time boating season began.