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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 06-19-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
PERCENT OF DEATHS BY KNOWN OPERATOR INSTRUCTION,

USCG Auxiliary, US Power,Squadrons, American Red Cross 3%
State 8%
Informal, Internet, Other 11%
No Instruction 78%

Not sure where USSailing and ASA fits, but clearly not in the last one.
That is more information that now makes the stats more useful. 11% of deaths occurred with the 22% who had received some instruction. 89% occurred with the 78% who had no instructions. Presumably the numbers would change some considering that in a collision, 1 of the operators may have had instruction whereas the operator of the other boat may not have.
I'm just trying to point out that statistics can be quite difficult to interpret correctly, and the report does not do this well. I do not believe that statistics lie. However, they are subject to considerable misinterpretation if all of the data is not known or considered.
Unless we know what % of boats are small open powerboats, and I suspect it's quite high, it's not possible to conclude that small open powerboats are more dangerous.
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Last edited by msmith10; 06-19-2012 at 11:07 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-19-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
PERCENT OF DEATHS BY KNOWN OPERATOR INSTRUCTION,

USCG Auxiliary, US Power,Squadrons, American Red Cross 3%
State 8%
Informal, Internet, Other 11%
No Instruction 78%

Not sure where USSailing and ASA fits, but clearly not in the last one.

To frame that data in context, it can be argued that the type of people who sign up for USCG Aux or other courses are already inherently more conservative and more likely to be safety-minded in their actions, and therefore inherently safer in the operation of a vessel to begin with. It's difficult, if not impossible to determine to what degree the courses actually aided in the prevention of maritime accidents.

Not that I disagree with you jackdale, just introducing something to be considered when interpreting statistical data like that. People who read parenting books are likely to be better parents. Is that a result of the the books, or is it because someone who cares enough to read the book is the kind of person likely to be more invested in raising their child?

(I have no opinion on licensing)
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  #13  
Old 06-19-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

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Originally Posted by creedence623 View Post

(I have no opinion on licensing)
Boating? Parenting? or Both?

As a teacher / assistant principal with 33 years of experience, I might be prepared to argue for the latter.
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  #14  
Old 06-19-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

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Originally Posted by msmith10 View Post
An analysis would be more helpful than a lot of the raw data presented. You have to be very careful how you interpret statistics given with little background data.
For instance, the Executive Summary states "Sixty (60) percent of the children who died in 2011 died from drowning. Seventy-eight (78) per-cent of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law. "
You could take this to mean that a child is 3 times more likely to drown if wearing a life jacket.
Falls overboard had by far the highest rate of lethality (57%). Of course, this is reported falls overboard. The vast majority of falls overboard don't get reported because there is no serious consequence. Collisions with another vessel have the lowest lethality (4%). However, even in the absence of serious consequence collisions are likely to be reported (think insurance settlement).
Likewise, "11% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction."
This is useless information unless we know the overall % of operators who had received instruction. It could be that the higher the rate of instruction, the higher the fatality rate.
Interesting reading, nonetheless.
While your point is valid, I donít think any further analysis would actually help very much because, as you have pointed out, the data is incomplete. I donít believe data exists to fill in the blanks.

Taken individually, these are still pretty compelling statistics and you can still make some reasonable deductions if you think about it. Of course you can always draw wrong conclusions if you try to combine different pieces of data without thinking about it.

Following that train of thought, my favorite statistic is that there is a direct correlation between ice cream sales and drownings. This could lead to the conclusion that ice cream is in some way involved in drownings. Of course people both buy ice cream and go into the water when it is hot. To draw a meaningful conclusion by combining incomplete data, you have engage your brain rather than taking things at face value. And you might still be wrong.

I still don't want to get in the way of that drunk, untrained, inattentive novice in the open powerboat.
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

You're obviously correct and I was only trying to make a point that the statistics provided were somewhat lacking and we tend to read into them what we already believe. It should be intuitive to everyone that lack of training, lack of preparation, lack of judgement, and overindulgence in alcohol while performing complex tasks are all bad things.
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  #16  
Old 06-20-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccriders:886682
Small open power boats, going too fast, not paying attention, running into other boats and fixed objects, drinking too much and not wearing life jackets - sorry, persoanal flotation devices.
Now how does that argue for instruction and licensing?
To get an automobile operators license today you pretty much have to go to school, take a test and pay for a license, yet look at all the auto wrecks caused by going too fast, not paying attention, running into other cars and fixed objects drinking too much and not wearing seat belts.
And many say boater's insurance is a waste too.
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

Let's not lose sight of the fact that one of the most compelling statistics is that, of 533 drowings, life jackets were not being worn in 415 of the cases.

Interestingly, if I read this and the state's boating laws correctly; In the two states with the highest number of fatalities: California and Florida; California does not have mandatory boater education class and Florida has a requirement for those born after 1988 ( 24 and younger at this point)

AFAIK, New York only requires jet ski operators to attend a safety class...NY fatalities are going in the wrong direction.

For those that oppose mandatory education for everyone...

I suppose if the authorities really wanted to dramatically reduce the boating deaths they could make it mandatory for everyone on recreational vessels 26' or less to wear a life jacket, In those states where the majority of the deaths occur. There were 118 drownings in canoes and kayaks and 253 in open motor boats. ( probably under 26 ft. I didn't check)

I'm not proposing that. But, here in my state of NJ, every single operator of a motorized vessel MUST take a course, and we average about 8 deaths a year. While, California and Florida average over 100 deaths a year and have much looser regulations.

Seems like a more targeted solution would be in order...if saving lives is what we're after.
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  #18  
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
CC did you read the quote or just have a knee-jerk reaction to my intro?

Or is crappy driver licensing an argument of of some sort?
Not a knee jerk. The people that get the training and a license for boating are much like the people on Sailnet, they recognize that boating (power and sail) is different than most other recreational activities and put time and effort into learning how to do it safely so that its rewards can be enjoyed. Yet there are many (I want to say idiots, but wont) who look at a 14' ski boat with a 250 horsepower engine on it and think; "how hard can that be" and take off without a care in the world. Maybe there could be a training and licensing program that would get their attention and teach them the skills to be a safe, prudent and capable operator, but I doubt that any state authority would invest in such a program and most individuals would certainly rebel at paying for such a program. Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if each state established an ASA style set of courses and required all boat operators to take them? While I support such an idea, it isn't going to happen and the best we will get is something that mirrors automobile licensing whcih obviously is not very effective.
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

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Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
Licensing is simply taxation and would have no effect beyond lightening wallets.

Licensing is a knee-jerk reaction.
This is counter-intuitive. How could training NOT improve safety? Presumably to get a license you'd have to do be trained to a certain level.

Next time you fly with an airline, why don't you have one of those untrained, unlicensed pilots fly the plane. I'm sure they'll figure it out on the way, no problem. According to your argument, the entire FAA is just there to empty pilot's wallets.
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Old 06-20-2012
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Re: USCG 2011 Boating Statistics

Training clearly improves operator capability. Whether the operator uses that new capability is another matter. Rarely are there arguments where the truth lie between the extremes more than this. Good training would undoubtedly reduce accidents. Just think about the basics of red and green navigation keeping boaters off the rocks. However, there are many people who are untrainable or just won't care about what they were forced to learn.
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