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Florida Leads the Nation in Boat Accidents and Boat Accident Fatalities — Again


According to a report from the Miami Herald, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) recently released its boat accident data for 2019—confirming that Florida had the most recreational boat accidents and the most boat accident fatalities. Unfortunately, this means the state of Florida once again has the dubious distinction of leading the nation in boat accidents. Even on a population adjusted basis, Florida still leads all other states in boating accidents. Here, we review the official government report.

An Overview of the Latest Official Boat Accident Statistics 

The Coast Guard is responsible for documenting recreational boat accidents across the United States. These are not just ocean-based incidents; to be sure, serious boat accidents that occur in inland waterways should still be reported to the USCG. In 2019, the Coast Guard confirmed 4,168 boat accidents. Collectively, these accidents resulted in at least 2,559 significant injuries and 613 fatalities. Both boat accidents and boat accident injuries were up about one percent when compared to the previous year. However, thankfully, fatalities were down nearly three percent when compared to 2018. Here is the state-by-state breakdown for boating accidents in 2019:

  1. Florida: 679 boat accidents and 55 boat accident fatalities
  2. California: 324 boat accidents and 37 boat accident fatalities.
  3. New York: 184 boat accidents and 17 boat accident fatalities.
  4. Texas: 165 boat accidents and 38 boat accident fatalities.
  5. South Carolina: 141 boat accidents and 15 boat accident fatalities.
  6. Maryland: 130 boat accidents and 12 boat accident fatalities.
  7. Michigan: 128 boat accidents and 18 boat accident fatalities.
  8. Ohio: 128 boat accidents and 15 boat accident fatalities.
  9. North Carolina: 128 boat accidents and 12 boat accident fatalities.
  10. New Jersey: 110 boat accidents and 4 boat accident fatalities.

Alarmingly, Florida has nearly as many boat accidents as California, New York, and Texas combined. This is far from a new trend: Our state has led the nation in boat accidents and boat accident deaths in each of the last five years, and it has not been particularly close. Florida consistently reports twice as many boat accidents as any other state.

While Florida has less than 6 percent of the U.S. population, nearly 11 percent of all boating accident deaths happen in the state. Notably, the Coast Guard highlights two specific boat accident ‘hot spots’ in Florida: Central Florida (Orlando) and Southeast Florida (West Palm Beach to Miami). In total, Florida’s boat accidents resulted in nearly $10 million in property damage—but the medical costs and the loss of life was far higher.

Contact Our Miami, FL Boat Accident Attorneys for Immediate Help

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Miami boat accident lawyers will fight aggressively to get you justice and full financial compensation. If you or your loved one was involved in a serious boat accident, we are ready to help. To set up a free, no commitment boat accident injury consultation, please call us right away. We serve communities throughout Southeastern Florida, including in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Delray Beach, and Boynton Beach.




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