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Old 08-17-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Question Who has the lowest boating fatality rate in the region?

Why New Hampshire does, of course. And hat's off to the fine men and women at New Hampshire Marine Patrol that have a big hand in this positive statistic.

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Old 08-17-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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Wow, we are less than half the national average and Vermont is around double the national average.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are all above average but well within what I would expected. I would have expected better for Maine. I never would have guess that about Vermont. What do I not know about the Green Mountain state?
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
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... What do I not know about the Green Mountain state?
They don't have a Marine Patrol. The state police mostly patrol on Champlain and the few towns that have police boats rarely use them for more than SAR.

It's been 30 years since I lived there but I haven't heard anything to indicate they've changed that much. Without water cops I expect BUI is fairly common.

A larger portion of VT boating is small water fishing by people who are mainly fishing not boating. There's a geek vest on board for every one just in case F&G catches you at the ramp but few adults wear them.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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Anyone know what the rates are over a 10 or 20 year period? With only one fatality last year, and 4 this year, one can see how the results could be skewed for a single year. I'm picturing next year's headline saying "NH boating deaths increased 400% in one year"
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
With only one fatality last year
Is that one fatality in 2008 generally considered a tragic accident or a criminal incident? What do the people of Belknap County think?
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:38 PM   #6
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Thanks Skip. Those NUMBERS are really telling. Those cold hard facts are really awesome to see. Thanks again for posting this article.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Wow, we are less than half the national average and Vermont is around double the national average.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are all above average but well within what I would expected. I would have expected better for Maine. I never would have guess that about Vermont. What do I not know about the Green Mountain state?
Vermont's usually pretty low. At least two lakes are Coast Guard patrolled, due to their being border lakes, so that may be a contributing factor as to reported accidents. I rarely hear of accidents on Lake Champlain, but there are several canoes, kayaks, and several other small crafts that contribute to drownings each year. I believe more people have died on Winni this year than last?

Statistics are a funny thing. If you look at accidents and fatalities on Winni the past thirty years, it's a very small number. More than likely, drownings in the spring are the highest category. Certainly much higher than collisions, which nobody can seem to cite a number for.

Seems like alcohol is the largest factor, still. Interesting to note that most of the problems occur with boats under 26', the Vast majority.
Vermont had two alcohol related accidents in 2004, one death. None since 2004.

8 accidents last year, five deaths. NH had 28, with only two deaths.

Both NH and Vermont are like spitting into a pond. If you have 3 extra accidents in a year, it extrapolates to a tremendous increase. The real factors in all state's data point to the type of problems people have been pointing out for some time.

Nice figures, sounds like mayhem.

It looks like the new SL law is killing people on NH waterways. Quite an increase this year.

Last edited by VtSteve; 08-17-2009 at 11:30 PM. Reason: had to read it
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
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They don't have a Marine Patrol. The state police mostly patrol on Champlain and the few towns that have police boats rarely use them for more than SAR.

It's been 30 years since I lived there but I haven't heard anything to indicate they've changed that much. Without water cops I expect BUI is fairly common.

A larger portion of VT boating is small water fishing by people who are mainly fishing not boating. There's a geek vest on board for every one just in case F&G catches you at the ramp but few adults wear them.
The majority of boats are on 3-5 lakes. Champlain has all kinds of patrols, the smaller ones, as you say, not much. Mostly F&G and the like. But yes, mostly dangerous fishermen. More fishermen died on Winni this year than in boating collisions since the beginning of last decade.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:34 PM   #9
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If I remember right there were a couple of kayak/canoe drownings on the CT River last year, do they get added to the VT or NH total? I would think that it would be difficult to judge exactly where someone was located when they drowned in a body of water that is located between two states.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:49 AM   #10
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If I remember right there were a couple of kayak/canoe drownings on the CT River last year, do they get added to the VT or NH total? I would think that it would be difficult to judge exactly where someone was located when they drowned in a body of water that is located between two states.
I believe the CT river, at the NH/VT border, is entirely in NH. The border is actually the west bank of the river.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I believe the CT river, at the NH/VT border, is entirely in NH. The border is actually the west bank of the river.
The story I heard is that in exchange for rebuilding and maintaining the huge Route 4, Vietnam Memorial Bridge that spans the Connecticut River, the State of NH got ownership of the river up to the Vermont shoreline.

Back in the 1930's ,,,,,or something like that?
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:22 AM   #12
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So you see, JRC, statistics are a funny thing. Small states like Vermont and New Hampshire don't have that many accidents or fatalities. So a minor blip from one accident alone can throw the stats into chaos. The last time a report was done, the figures weren't very alarming either. Despite their use for more laws, the statistics have never backed up the claims for such.

The statistics have pointed to one thing in particular that I'm surprised the safety hawks haven't harped on. I'm certainly not going to bring it up, nor support it.

In a nutshell, the vast majority (do the math), of all accidents, especially fatal ones, can be attributed to the same things as always.

BUI
Careless and negligent
Unsafe speeds for conditions
Boater education
Wearing PFD's in small craft
Wearing PFD's in early season boating (primarily in small craft)
Proper Refueling
Wear your lanyards
Always be very aware of large waves from cruisers. An awful lot of accidents and serious injuries result from boaters that fly through large waves, unaware that their passengers have nothing to hold onto.


So for 2009, the pure statistics will seem bad. The best way to keep the stats low is boater education, particularly on water instruction which is sorely lacking.

Hey, I just came up with a new funding mechanism for the MP
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:42 AM   #13
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New York has a new state law requiring all boaters in boats up to 21' to wear pfd's from Nov 1 to May 1......hopefully with the kill switch lanyard attached....and a plan for how to get back into the boat....such as climbing up the outboard motor. Not sure if that is doable with an inboard-outboard powerdrive?

This new New York state pfd law goes into effect on Nov 1 2009, and applies to motorboats, canoes, kayaks, rowboats, sailboats, peddle boats,,,,,any pleasure boat up to 21' and requires the pfd to be worn not just carried.

Sort of a pfd-seatbelt law or somethin.....In colder weather, a pfd worn under a windbreaker works like a fleece vest & helps keep'n warm.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #14
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It's a law directed at the numerous drownings that occur each year in the northern climates. That water is cold as you probably know. Many fishermen out in small craft, the water is in the 30's to 50's, and during that part of the year winds can pick up quickly.

I've seen and heard many commercials both on TV and radio earlier this year warning about the cold water. Even when wearing a PFD, it's pretty darn difficult to get frozen muscles to work, much less trying to get back on board. I find my ladder much easier than trying to use the skeg of an outboard, but many outboard boats also have ladders now as well.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:52 PM   #15
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Default 1994-2008 Recreational Boating Statistics

You can get the data from 1994 to 2008 at the website listed below.

http://www.uscgboating.org/statistic...dent_stats.htm

New Hampshire boating deaths over the period range between 1 and 8 deaths annually with 2 recorded in 2008. Frankly, I don't think the data really tell you much about safety. Factors such as the length of the boating season, per capita accidents, resident vs tourist accidents, fresh or salt water boating and the availability of large bodies of water all effect the number of accidents. Iowa and North Dakota, both land locked with minor lakes, had no deaths in 2008. No surprise there. Florida had at least 50 death every year which is no surprise seeing that their boating season is year round and they have many more people boating.

Over the 1994-2008 period, Vermont had the fewest deaths, Maine the most. I'm not into boating, but I know statistics. A single year's data is rarely the complete story.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:11 PM   #16
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Just thinking about the two Meredith guys, ages 56 & 50, who drowned this spring in Lake Winnipesaukee in Center Harbor while fishing from a 12' aluminum jon boat and wondering if a Nov 1 - May 1 pfd law would have made any difference.

Turns out that they drowned on Saturday May 2, 2009 at about 9:30am so this law would not have been too helpfull but you never know about the colateral effects of such a law. For example, if it was a law effective for the entire month of April then what is the liklihood they would be more inclined to wear the pfd's on May 2?

Wearing a pfd on a small boat probably gets to be a good habit after a few times, just like wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. Have a near drowning experience in 45 degree water for 30 minutes before getting rescued by another fisherman who happens by and you'll probably be wearing that pfd in the future.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #17
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Today's Citizen has a report of a new boating related drowning on Newfound Lake which took place yesterday and the police-fire are trying to locate the body in water that's 150' deep. It involves a 43 year old man from Lawrence, Mass.

While the swimmers belts are not Coast Guard approved as a pfd, they work excellent as a swimmig aid.....better than a pfd...because they center the buoyancy at the waist. If the belts were available in white or gray, as opposed to brite safety yellow, could be they would be more accepted by swimmers.

What the heck.....why not......swimming in a lake full of waves is not like swimming in the smooth water of a swimming pool.


Question of the day: Which is cheaper? Using a 25-dollar swimmers belt or a having a funeral, if & when the body is found in 150' depths?
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