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Common Boating Accident Injuries

family boating

Boating is a recreational activity enjoyed by millions, promising adventure and relaxation on the water. However, the serenity of sailing can quickly turn perilous, leading to accidents with serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

With the arrival of warmer months and boating season, it becomes imperative for every water enthusiast to understand the risks and various types of injuries associated with boating accidents.

Boating Accident Statistics

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2022, there was a 1.6% increase in the number of registered boats compared to the previous year. The total number of registered boats reached 11,770,383. Although the fatality rate decreased, it still stood at 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.

Additional boating accident statistics include:

  • In 2022, there were 4,040 boating accidents that resulted in 658 deaths and 2,222 injuries.
  • Boating accidents resulted in approximately $63 million in property damage overall.
  • 85% of drowning victims in recreating boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.
  • The leading causes of boating accidents included operator inattention, lack of experience, inadequate lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.
  • Among fatal boating accidents where the primary cause was determined, alcohol emerged as the leading factor in 16% of fatalities.

These statistics shed light on the importance of boating safety awareness and the need for preventive measures to reduce the number of incidents in the waters.

6 Types of Boating Accident Injuries

The aftermath of a boating accident can range from mild inconveniences to severe health complications and even death. Below are some of the most common injuries that occur during boating accidents:

Broken Bones

Collisions can result in bone fractures, as passengers may fall and come into contact with various surfaces on the boat. Facial bones or ribs can be affected, potentially leading to prolonged recovery periods.


A concussion can occur from a sudden jolt or blow to the head. In boating accidents, passengers may hit their heads on surfaces, and the severity of the injury depends on the force of the impact.


In severe boating accidents, amputation may be necessary when a body part is beyond repair or poses a threat to a person's life. Additionally, falling overboard can result in amputation due to contact with propellers.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur in boating accidents, depending on the nature of the incident and the location of the passengers. These injuries may result from being struck by objects during a collision or being forcefully thrown. Spinal cord injuries have the potential to cause severe damage and even paralysis.


Sharp edges and other equipment on the boat can cause deep cuts in accidents, posing a significant risk to the safety and well-being of those on board.


Unfortunately, in severe scenarios, boating accidents can sometimes result in fatalities. For example, passengers might sustain injuries or lose consciousness in the water, ultimately resulting in drowning.

Contact Our Boating Accident Attorney

There are many types of injuries that can be sustained in a boating accident. As such, it is imperative to be careful while drinking on boats, wear life vests, and be vigilant. However, despite your own best cautions, other boaters may not be as safe.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, it is important to know that you may be entitled to compensation. Reach out to our skilled boating accident attorney at Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC, and we can guide you through the complexities of accident claims, helping you pursue the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.

Don't go through the aftermath of a boating accident alone. Contact our team at (502) 242-8877 or send us an online message to request a free consultation.

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