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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Recreational Boating Safety, Alcohol Involvement, and Property Damage Data

Embedded Dataset Excel:

Dataset Excel:

table_02_47_072523.xlsx (28.21 KB)


Only a small fraction of property damages and nonfatal accidents are reported to the U.S. Coast Guard.

On July 2, 2001, the Federal threshold of property damage for reports of accidents involving recreational vessels changed from $500 to $2,000.


KEY: N = data does not exist.

a The numbers for recreational boating safety fatalities in 2000 are raw numbers. Coast Guard reports a 6% addition as instructed by the DOT Inspector General because it found a discrepancy in a review of the Search and Rescue Management Information System (SARMIS) and BARD data. (See the discussion found in the DOT FY2003 Performance Plan/2001 Performance Report on pg. 135 under data details of recreational boating fatalities, available at as of Feb 10, 2010).

b Numbered boats in 1960 is an estimate.

c Starting in 2001 only cases where alcohol is determined to be a direct or indirect cause of an accident are reported. Previous years include cases where alcohol was present but played no role in the accident.

d 1992 data includes $11 million damage due to a boat fire.


Vessels involved for 1960 and 1965, and property damage for 1994 and 1995: 

U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Coast Guard (CG), Office of Boating Safety, personal communication, May 15, 2002.

All other data:

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast Guard, Office of Boating Safety, Boating Statistics (Washington, DC: Annual Issues), tables 8, 16, 36 and similar tables in earlier editions, available at as of Jun. 30, 2023.