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Big Drop in Boating Accidents in San Diego County

It’s not often that news about personal injuries is good. The accident rate, whether it is on the state’s highways or in a shopping mall, just seems to climb and climb. But good news has emerged about California boating accidents and it concerns us right here in San Diego County. According to a number of different sources, both fatalities and serious injuries caused by a boating accident have actually dropped in the last ten years.

The news is particularly good because San Diego is a California boating mecca. There are thousands of private boats in our area, including power boats, yachts, kayaks, paddleboards and inflatable boats of all types.

At times, when the weather is calm and benign, which is a lot of the time in our part of the world, it can seem like a boater’s madhouse out on the water in San Diego. So why is the number of accidents down?

Boating Accident Number Crunching

The source of the data is the California Division of Boating and Waterways. According to their data, the number of serious boating accidents has declined by around a third between 2005 and 2015. That means all San Diego’s waterways, including the ocean, bay areas, lakes and reservoirs.

To be honest, the authorities don’t seem to know exactly what is causing the drop in boating accidents. Some people think that the decline is not due to safer boating attitudes but simply because the number of registered boats is less than it was ten years ago. Less boats, less accidents, goes this theory!

State officials prefer their own theory: San Diego waters are safer and less accident prone because of two simple reasons:

  • There is stricter monitoring of boater behavior out on the water;
  • Education campaigns have resulted in fewer accidents.

So, how do the numbers stack up? There were only 55 boating accidents recorded last year, in contrast to 87 ten years ago. The figures show that in the last ten years 742 accidents have been reported involving boats in the San Diego County area. 469 injuries and 27 fatalities were recorded in that period.

‘Are Better San Diego Boating Accidents a Result of Something Totally Innocuous!’

John Handemeyer is one person who should know what he is talking about. He’s the marine safety lieutenant who works for San Diego’s Lifeguard Services Division. He says that the drop in serious accidents is definitely due to education, enforcement and signage.

Boaters are not as proficient as car and truck drivers on land. In many ways, boaters have to use their common sense more than they might do when behind the wheel of an automobile. They have to take notice of much more around them, not just other boats. There is the variations in the weather that can affect safe boating, as well as the presence of surfers, swimmers, water ski-iers and kayakers, all enjoying themselves in the same stretch of water. There is only a certain amount of space so boaters do have to take care. Negligence can result in serious boating accidents and head on boating collisions, capsizes and sinkings.

Causes of Boating Accidents in the San Diego Area

Most boating accidents happen when there are collisions between two boats. Boat operators may be drunk, affected by drugs, unsure of the collision regulations, distracted while in charge of their boat, not in command of their vessel at the time of the accident, unsure of their navigation or one of several other reasons.

Despite the reassuring news about boating accidents in San Diego, there is still a chance that you might be a boating accident victim if you venture out on the water in San Diego. The problem is that even if you are particularly careful and experienced as a skipper of your own vessel, it is hard to be totally prepared for mistakes and negligent actions made by other boat operators.

Boating accidents can be very serious. Because of the environment in which boating accidents take place, if someone falls overboard it might take hours to find them. It may not be immediately obvious if someone on board has fallen over the side or even where their body has been taken to by the tide or the currents.

This can be a harrowing time for the family of anyone who has been involved in a boating accident in the San Diego area. It is important to contact an experienced boating accident attorney in the San Diego area to explain what happened and present evidence that you may think is useful to you if you decide to carry on with a personal injury claim.

Robert Hamparyan is an experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with many San Diego boating accident cases before. He has an outstanding reputation for his success with personal injury accidents and provides a free initial consultation.


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