Yet when presented with the RITA data that shows EVERY SINGLE METRIC improving, you claim it's not representative of deep sea recreational accidents. For some unexplained reason, you claim that recreational accidents in deep waters have not benefited from many of the same technological advances that have helped the commercial vessels and inland vessels. Placed in the inept hands of those silly recreational boaters, GPSs, EPIRBs, etc. are lethal weapons that only serve to embolden these incompetents to take foolish risks.
The introduction of such statistical data into this discussion arose out of Mark's original contention that a comparison of such data from the 1970's, and today, would reveal a significant reduction regarding "cruiser-type fatalities"
I'm sorry, but I'm seeing precious little information in the RITA and other data presented thus far, that would lead one to draw ANY meaningful conclusion about fatalities or accidents applicable to that particular subset of cruising sailors and distance voyagers... Much less, how those numbers may, or may not have, been influenced by technological advances such as GPS, electronic charting, and so on...
Let's look inside the numbers for 2010, for example, as presented by the US Coast Guard in their definitive annual report on recreational boating statistics:
In 2010, the Coast Guard counted 4604 accidents that involved 672 deaths
Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, eighty-eight (88) percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket.
Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
Alcohol use is the leadding contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 19% of the deaths
Of the 672 deaths reported, 326 occurred on bodies of water described as "Lakes, Ponds, Reservoirs, Dams, Gravel Pits"... Another 198 deaths occurred on "Rivers, Streams, Creeks, Swamps, or Bayous"... Only 53 fatalities occurred on the Ocean or Gulf of Mexico
289 deaths were aboard boats or personal watercraft less than 16 feet. Another 295 lives were lost on boats between 16-26 feet... In comparison, only 45 died aboard boats between 26-65 feet...
Sailboats - both auxiliary and sail only - rank pretty far down the list of "Vessel Types" on which fatalities occurred, with a total of 23 deaths...325 lives were lost aboard Open Powerboats, and the categories of Cabin Motorboats, Canoes, Kayaks, Personal Watercraft, Pontoon, and Rowboats all posted higher fatality numbers than Sailboats...
In the category of "Activity Engaged In" at the time of the accident, a grand total of SIX lives were lost during the actual act of SAILING
I would submit that without access to the raw information the CG has in compiling these 'facts', they remain essentially useless for the purposes of extrapolating any meaningful conclusions about "cruiser-type fatalities", when fewer than 1 in 10 transpired upon the ocean or aboard boats over 26 feet, fewer than 1 in 20 took place upon a sailboat of any kind, and fewer than 1 in 100 happened during the operation of a vessel under sail...
People are free to read whatever they want into such a compilation of numbers, of course... But, absent of more relevant data applicable to cruisers and sailors, I think I'll stick with having my opinions regarding Technological Advances and Their Effects informed by what my own eyes and ears have been telling me since the 1970's, at least for the time being... (grin)