With the Pacific Ocean in its backyard, San Diego is among the nation’s hot spots for recreational boating activity. San Diego Bay and Mission Bay also attract many recreational boaters, seeking to relax, fish and enjoy the ocean. And it has been busy lately.
Last year, plenty more boating activities took place near San Diego and the rest of the country. The reason? The pandemic. At least the U.S. Coast Guard suggests this factor may have contributed to the nationwide increase in boating accidents, deaths and injuries.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics report, a total of 5,265 boating accidents occurred in the U.S. last year. In those accidents, 767 people died and another 3,191 sustained injuries. These numbers represent a 26% jump from the nearly 4,200 accidents in 2019 and a 25% jump compared with the 613 deaths and 2,559 injuries reported nationwide.
A potential reason for the increase in deaths and injuries may be the COVID-19 pandemic. Some evidence exists that boating activity significantly grew during the pandemic due to increased boat sales, insurance policies made, insurance claims and towing assistance calls.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
Anyone who enjoys recreational boating near San Diego and along the California coast must also understand the potential hazards. Please stay alert and make good decisions. Then the pleasure may know no limits.