Dear Boating Enthusiast:
California ranks second nationally in the number of boating accidents and fatalities. Because of this, it is important to supply the boating public with the best information possible to enhance safety on the water.
A primary focus of this publication is the analysis of boating accidents that occurred in 2004. This information is compiled to help us direct our efforts to reduce the number of boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities on California’s waterways.
The report also includes information about the Department’s efforts to promote boating safety through law enforcement and safety education programs which involve essential direct interaction with the boating community.
Last year, 34% of boating fatalities occurred during fishing-related activities. All of the victims drowned, and 60% were not wearing a life jacket. The Department continues educational efforts toward anglers by producing new public safety announcements for both television and radio which stress the importance of wearing life jackets while fishing. These safety messages are currently airing throughout California.
As in previous years, a priority for the Department is educating boaters about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. As of January 1, 2005, it is now illegal in California to engage in teak surfing or activities that involve holding onto or occupying the swim step of a vessel while the engine is engaged. More details regarding this new law can be found in the New Laws and Enhancements section of this report.
This report is also available on the Department’s website, www.dbw.ca.gov. For more information about this or other accident statistics, please contact Amy Rigby by telephone at (916) 327-1848 or by e-mail at Amy.Rigby@parks.ca.gov.