Whenever people are on the move, there exists the possibility of accidents. This happens with all modes of transportation: planes, vehicles, boats, bicycles and even walking. The ultimate cause of an accident usually determines who is at fault. This is just as true with boats accidents in Kentucky as with any other type of crash.

According to the United States Coast Guard’s 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics a total of 658 deaths occurred from recreational boating accidents in 2017. The USCG counted 4,291 accidents that year, resulting in property damage of $46 million and 2,629 injuries. These numbers all showed a decrease from 2016. Most people who died in a boating accident drowned and of those who perished this way over 84 percent failed to put on a life jacket. Alcohol usage played at least a partial role in 19 percent of boating accident deaths. The majority of accidents, about 81 percent, involved boat operators who claimed no history of boating instruction. In addition to alcohol use, the most common causes of accidents included operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience and machinery failure.

The state of Kentucky, according to the USCG, saw seven boating accidents caused by alcohol usage in 2017. These accidents resulted in five deaths and two additional injuries. Overall, Kentucky saw a total of 41 boating accidents in 2017, resulting in 13 fatalities and 23 non-fatal injuries.  Significant property damage occurred in 15 of the accidents, resulting in total damages of just over $244,000. The top three states with USCG-reported boating accidents in 2017 were Florida, California and Texas.