Posts Tagged ‘Canoeing’
First District Public Affairs
U.S. Coast Guard
Date: January 12, 2012
Contact: First District Public Affairs
(*Note: Maryland is in Coast Guard District 5, however we also have increased interest in paddling and in 2011 Maryland had the highest number of boating fatalities since 1992. This information is timely and relevant.)
BOSTON — Recreational boating and paddling fatalities on waters of the northeastern U.S. have remained nearly the same for the second year in a row.
The 1st Coast Guard District recorded a preliminary total of 51 deaths during 2011. There were 50 fatalities in 2009 and 51 fatalities in 2010. Capsizing or falling overboard while not wearing a life jacket were the main factors resulting in fatalities.
Boating fatalities were divided between 29 deaths on motorized vessels and 22 deaths on non-motorized vessels.
Due to the tremendous growth in kayaking over the past decade, and the long-standing interest in canoeing, northeastern paddle-sport fatalities are typically double the national average.
Out of the 51 deaths last year, 44 of the boaters were not wearing lifejackets.
“Lifejackets save lives”, said Walt Taylor, recreational boating safety specialist, 1st Coast Guard District “Take a boating education course, ensure you have all the required safety equipment to have a safe and fun boating season next year.”
One memorable case in 2011 involved the death of N.Y. Police Department officer Patrick Luca who drowned while kayaking with his son off Long Island (Click here for original release). The high-profile nature of the case captured public interest and emphasized the significance of simple decisions, like wearing a life jacket.
“It’s extremely important to get these statistics out,” said Lt. Joe Klinker, 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. “But it’s even more important for all of us to realize that these aren’t just numbers. They were friends, parents, spouses, sons and daughters. They were neighbors in a very close maritime community.”
While the Coast Guard continues to deliver the message of safe boating, this year, said Klinker, the Coast Guard is making a special plea to the friends and families of all boaters: Hold your loved ones accountable and make sure they take the right steps to come home safe.
For a geographic breakdown and overall numbers of incidents and fatalities in 2011, click here.
For boating safety information, click here.
As the Coast Guard records the national statistics for 2011, the 2010 information is available here.
Safe-boating courses are available through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons. Course information may be found at:
Saving Lives and Guarding the Coast Since 1790.
The United States Coast Guard — Proud History. Powerful Future.