The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced its 2017 Recreational Boating Report. The state reported 22 fatalities in 2017 – the same as 2016 – which had placed the Empire State 31st in the nation for boating fatalities.
In 2017, unregistered craft (kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboards, peddle boats and non-motorized sailboats) represented 14 of the 22 fatalities (63.6 percent), an increase of 8 fatalities over 2016. Most of the victims capsized or fell overboard and were not wearing life jackets that may have allowed them to survive.
The report notes that New York’s overall boating-fatality rate has dropped significantly since the 1970s. The 22 boating fatalities in 2017 were just 16.7 percent of what they were in 1973, New York’s worst year on record with 132 boating fatalities.