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Florida Leads the Nation in Boating Accidents and Fatalities

June 16, 2021 | Category: Boating Accidents | Share

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reported in 2020 that Florida ranked No. 1 nationally in both recreational boating accidents and fatalities on the water. Florida has ranked No. 1 every year since 2015. The Florida Keys topped the state in both categories.

Florida Leads Nation in Boating Accidents & Fatalities - Spivey LawThe USCG compiles statistics derived from owner/operator filed recreational vessel accident reports in its annual Boating Statistics publication.   

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission compiled data for its 2020 Boating Accident Statistical Report at the end of 2020 and released the report in March 2021. Boating accidents must meet at least one of the five criteria below to be classified as reportable and be included in the report:

  1. A person dies.
  2. A person disappears under circumstances that indicate possible death or injury.
  3. A person receives an injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid.
  4. There is at least $2,000 aggregate property damage to the vessel(s) or other property.
  5. There is a total loss of a vessel. The number of vessels registered in Florida increased slightly in 2020.

Florida also leads the nation in the number of registered vessels. That number increased slightly in 2020 to 985,005. There are up to one million non-registered vessels in Florida's waters.

In 2020, there were 836 reportable accidents. The leading type of 2020 boating accident was a collision with another vessel – 224 (27 percent). The month of May had the highest number of accidents.

Boat-ed says, “Collisions often occur because pleasure craft operators are not staying alert and keeping a lookout for other boats or objects, or are going a little faster than they should. Although some collisions happen at night when it is difficult to see, many occur in daylight hours on calm, clear days."

“Boats require experienced, attentive, and responsible people at the helm because boat collisions can lead to serious injuries or death,” said Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. “If you or a family member have been injured or killed in any type of boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation, and an experienced Fort Myers boating accident lawyer can help you recover your maximum damages. Many boating accidents occur on navigable waters where there are special federal and state maritime laws that apply. We are available to assist you 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you.”


Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.




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