New York State, with its many freshwater rivers and lakes as well as miles of coastline, has a thriving boating industry. Many of these boats are recreational vehicles, used by residents and visitors alike. In New York, recreational boating is a $2 billion-dollar industry and covers both powerboats and non-motorized boats. Motorized boats require registration, but non-powered boats do not. This means that New York ranks ninth in the number of registered powerboats in the United States. New York Upstate reports on the 2018 report of boating-related deaths in New York.
Compared with 2017, the year 2018 saw a slight decrease in the number of boating fatalities. There were 19 boating-related fatalities in 2018, down from the 22 in 2017.
However, the number of actual accidents saw a rise in 2018 over the previous year. In 2017, there were a reported 181 accidents and 72 injuries. In 2018, those numbers rose to 203 accidents with 108 injuries.
The reasons behind last year’s 19 deaths include the failure to wear a personal flotation device, alcohol use, weather and hazardous waters, speed, sitting or standing on gunwales, and driver inattention and inexperience.
Nine of the 19 deaths involved non-motorized crafts. Many of these deaths involved the vehicle being capsized and the victim falling overboard. This category saw a drop of 5% in comparison with the year before. One incident involving a motorized craft was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.