Download Full Text (543 KB)
Boating is a popular recreational activity in many high- and middle-income countries around the world and includes the use of both powered and unpowered (watercraft) vessels. Participation estimates range from 36 million recreational boaters across Europe, 22 million in the United States, 13 million in Canada, and 5 million in Australia. Despite its popularity, participation in recreational boating is not without risks including, for example, physical injury and loss of life due to drowning, propeller strike, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Several factors have been identified that impact safety and put people more at risk of injury and death including operator inexperience, improper lookout, alcohol and other drugs, excessive speed, lack of life jackets, and overloading. Prevention strategies to reduce risk encompass safe boating strategies, legislation and regulatory strategies, and social psychological and behavioral strategies.