Alcohol, capsized boats, no safety equipment common themes in summer recreation deaths

Jun 24, 2015

ORILLIA, ON, June 24, 2015 /CNW/ - A ten-year snapshot into boating and off-road incidents investigated by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has revealed that capsized boats and lack of safety equipment have been the most common factors in fatal boating incidents while alcohol leads the list of factors in off-road vehicle (ORV) incidents.             

With summer just getting started, the OPP is sharing some fatality data associated with two of Ontario's most popular summer recreational activities.

Over the past ten years (2005 – 2014), 276 people have lost their lives in 245 boating incidents and 167 people have died in 165 ORV incidents in OPP jurisdiction.  

Marine fatalities

The ten-year data revealed that a capsized boat was the leading cause in 78 of the 245 boating incidents.  Occupants falling overboard was the second leading cause with 76 such incidents. Alcohol was found to be the primary cause of 26 boating mishaps and a swamped vessel placed fourth with 14 occurrences.    

The most concerning data is that -- over the ten-year period -- life jackets and personal floatation devices (PFD) were extremely under-utilized, with 226 of the 276 deceased not wearing one at the time of the incident. Sadly, many of the victims may have otherwise survived their ordeal had they chosen to wear this important life saving equipment.

The majority of the boating victims were male (254) and 22 of them were female. Of those killed, 177 were the boat operator, 87 were passengers and in seven of the incidents, it was not known if the victim was a driver or a passenger. The other five victims were not occupants in the boat involved in the incident.     

ORV fatalities

ORV fatality data revealed that 77 of the 165 fatalities were alcohol or drug-related. Not wearing a helmet was not far behind with 74 of the deaths being linked to this factor.  Speed was a contributing factor in 51 of the incidents over the ten-year period.

Most of the victims were the driver of the ORV (153) and 14 were passengers. Of those who died, 143 were males and 24 were females.

What the Data Tells Us

According to OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, Provincial Commander, Traffic Safety and Operational Support, many of these 443 boaters and ORV riders may have been alive today had they made better decisions for themselves and their passengers before and during their outdoor adventure.

"Our data could not make it any clearer that the risks to all and the consequences for some do not change from year-to-year when mixing boating and off-roading with alcohol or drugs, driving carelessly, and not being equipped or prepared to survive an unexpected life-threatening turn of events on the water and on the trails," said Blair.

This is the third installment in a series of comprehensive statistics-based News Releases the OPP is disseminating in its effort to raise awareness of the behaviours that cause senseless, preventable collisions and incidents that result in deaths on Ontario roads, waterways and trails every year.

(See additional data below)

OPP_ALL REGIONS
























Fatal Marine Vessel Incidents

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

10Yr Total

Number of Fatal Incidents

29

29

28

26

32

26

18

20

23

14

245

Persons Killed

34

36

28

30

33

28

22

22

23

20

276

Persons Killed - not wearing PFD

27

29

22

23

29

22

19

18

20

17

226

Gender of Persons Killed












Persons Killed - Female

4

4

2

3

0

0

2

2

3

2

22

Persons Killed - Male

30

32

26

27

33

28

20

20

20

18

254

User Class in Fatal Marine Vessel Incidents












Persons Killed - Drivers

17

23

17

22

27

17

8

12

21

13

177

Persons Killed - Passengers

13

10

11

6

4

10

14

10

2

7

87

Persons Killed - Unknown

2

2

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

7

Persons Killed - Non Vessel Occupant

2

1

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

5

Fatal Marine Vessel Incidents by Month












January

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

February

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

March

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

April

4

2

0

1

2

2

0

0

0

2

13

May

6

5

3

6

4

3

3

5

1

1

37

June

8

5

3

5

4

3

2

2

4

6

42

July

4

6

8

6

8

7

6

1

5

3

54

August

2

8

5

3

9

2

1

4

7

2

43

September

2

1

4

1

2

6

3

3

3

0

25

October

0

2

4

4

1

1

0

2

3

0

17

November

1

0

0

0

2

2

2

1

0

0

8

December

2

0

1

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

5

Fatal Marine Vessel Incidents Primary Cause












Unknown

4

1

1

3

2

2

0

0

1

0

14

Alcohol

3

7

7

4

2

1

2

0

0

0

26

Speed

2

1

0

1

1

1

0

1

0

1

8

Fell Overboard

11

9

5

5

12

10

7

3

9

5

76

Vessel Capsized

6

6

8

10

9

9

5

14

7

4

78

Vessel Swamped

2

2

0

1

3

2

2

0

1

1

14

Other

1

3

7

2

3

1

2

2

5

3

29

























Fatal Off Road Vehicle Incidents

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

10Yr Total

Number of Fatal Incidents

14

15

25

17

20

17

14

12

20

11

165

Persons Killed

14

15

26

17

21

17

14

12

20

11

167

Persons Killed - Alcohol/drug-related

6

5

17

7

13

7

3

7

9

3

77

Persons Killed - Speed-related

4

7

7

8

6

6

5

4

3

1

51

Persons Killed - not wearing helmet

9

2

12

6

9

5

9

3

13

6

74

Gender of Persons Killed












Persons Killed - Female

1

3

1

4

6

2

4

2

0

1

24

Persons Killed - Male

13

12

25

13

15

15

10

10

20

10

143

User Class in Fatal Off Road Vehicle Incidents












Persons Killed - Drivers

14

15

24

14

19

16

11

10

19

11

153

Persons Killed - Passengers

0

0

2

3

2

1

3

2

1

0

14

Fatal Off Road Vehicle Incidents by Month












January

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

February

1

0

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

4

March

0

1

2

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

7

April

1

2

0

1

2

2

1

1

0

0

10

May

5

2

4

2

4

0

2

1

0

1

21

June

1

4

3

5

3

1

2

0

2

4

25

July

1

1

4

1

1

4

4

2

4

1

23

August

1

2

3

4

2

3

3

2

5

2

27

September

1

0

1

2

5

1

1

1

2

0

14

October

2

0

2

1

0

5

0

3

4

1

18

November

0

2

2

0

1

0

1

1

0

1

8

December

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

1

6

 

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police

For further information: Contacts by OPP Region: Highway Safety Division: Sergeant Kerry Schmidt, Phone: (416) 460-4701; Central Region: A/Sgt. Lynda Cranney, Phone: (705) 330-3738; East Region: Sergeant Kristine Rae, Phone: (613) 285-2750; Northwest Region: Sergeant Shelley Garr, Phone: (807) 473-2734; North East Region: Sergeant Carolle Dionne, Phone: (705) 845-2738; West Region: Sergeant Dave Rektor, Phone: (519) 652-4156