Summer is here, and what better way to enjoy it than on a boat. While recreational boating can be an exciting activity, it is important to follow boating safety procedures to prevent accidents and injuries on the water.

What are the Most Recent Recreational Boating Accident Statistics?

While recreational boating is a fun way to cool off in the summer heat, it can quickly become dangerous if proper safety protocols are not followed. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2022 there were 4,040 recreational boating accidents recorded that involved 636 deaths, 2,222 injuries, and approximately $63 million dollars of property damage. Boat owners and operators can be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if reckless boating results in passengers getting injured or killed. boat moving across a lake

How Can You Stay Safe While Boating?

It is extremely important to stay mindful and informed of the safety measures boat owners, operators, and passengers should take before setting sail in order to prevent accidents and injuries.

If you find yourself on a boat this summer, here are some safety tips to follow:

  • Only operate a boat if you have had boating safety training. According to the US Coast Guard, 70% of accidents involving fatalities occur on boats in which the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.
  • Make sure everyone onboard has a proper U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Never drink alcohol while operating a boat. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Operating a vessel while intoxicated is dangerous and a federal offense.
  • Stay alert while operating a boat, as most boating accidents are caused by operator inattention.
  • Maintain a safe speed at all times while operating a boat to avoid collision.
  • Make sure the boat is free of tripping and fire hazards.
  • Check that the required safety equipment is on board and in good working order prior to boarding.
  • Watch out for inclement weather, and act accordingly if weather patterns change while on the water.
  • Do not overfill the boat and make sure all passengers are accounted for.
  • Maintain a safe distance from other boaters and swimmers and never start the engine if someone is near the propeller.
  • Follow proper anchoring, navigating, and docking procedures.
  • Know and follow the Federal Regulations and Boating Laws in your state.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a recreational boating accident, consult a personal injury lawyer about the potential liability of the owner and/or operator. SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent those who have been injured. If you have been hurt in an accident and wish to speak to one of our attorneys, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000, or e-mail