Maritime causalities include any injury or fatality that occurs on a watercraft, dock, or any marine related incident regarding recreational or occupational maritime participation at the time of the incident. It can include offshore drilling rigs, cruise ships, personal watercraft, or water sports and can take place on any waterway including oceans, lakes, sounds, harbors, reservoirs, gulfs, rivers, and streams.
The National Safe Boating Council estimates that there are over 700 boating fatalities in the U.S. annually. According to a report by the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), there are over six thousand maritime vessels involved accidents annually in the U.S. The report also concluded that there are over 150 injuries and over 60 casualties every year due to maritime accidents.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue Statistics posted on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) page, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) responds to over 27 thousand maritime emergencies a year. These maritime emergencies are responsible for close to 800 fatalities annually and cost the U.S. close to $122 million in property damage.
The USCG reports that over two-thirds of all recreational boating deaths are due to drowning and 90 percent of all drowning victims do not wear a lifejacket. The report also concluded that three-quarters of recreational maritime drowning occurred in vessels less than 21 feet long and the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents is alcohol consumption. According to the USCG, 22 children 12 years of age and younger die every year in maritime accidents and 103 people die in kayak/canoe accidents.
Maritime casualties can include any of the following:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are over three thousand maritime casualties annually in the U.S. These accidents can include anything from being burned with hot oil aboard a containership or on a tugboat fire to injuries stemming from the collision of two watercrafts.