Distraction and Boating Recipe for Disaster


While motorists are constantly warned against the dangers of distracted driving, it turns out that boaters are also in need of a reminder. According to statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard, operator inattention was the number one reason for boating accidents. Distracted boat drivers were the cause of over 500 incidents, making it an important topic for discussion.

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators reported that 22-24 percent of boating accidents were due to improper lookout and operator inattention combined. Between 9 and 14 percent of fatalities related to boating were also caused by distraction.

Common causes of boating accidents include many different types of distractions. Electronic distraction can include a phone or spotlight but can also mean the driver was attempting to use a radio, radar or navigation device. Objects on the boat, such as electronics, can also cause a lighting glare that prevents drivers from being able to see well. Lighting on shorelines, docks and other boats can cause background lighting that distracts or lowers visibility. Drivers who are eating, smoking or drinking fall into the category of performing distracting activities. Other things, such as sightseeing or talking with other passengers onboard can also be included.

Recently in 2022 the Lake of the Ozarks has several boating incidents and fatalities that were caused by operator inattention, excessive speed and failure to post a proper lookout.  Two of which were fatal. Compared to 2021 we had 3 fatalities where the probable cause was due to inattention, excessive speed or having a proper lookout.  

Statewide in Missouri for 2021 there the statistics as follow: 

Boating inattention:  3 fatalities; 25 injuries; property damage 15

Excessive speed: 1 fatality; 20 injuries; property damage 8

Failure to post a proper lookout: 4 fatalities; 31 injuries; property damage 23

The biggest distraction is the cell phone.  With the advent of Smart watches are designed as a second screen for your phone to aid in productivity and staying connected. This is all well and good but to many people are obsessed by check their e-mails, texts and phone calls, rater then focusing on the proper operation of the boat.  When coupled with alcohol and or other impairments it is a recipe for disaster.

How to avoid becoming a statistics? 

1.       1. Let the phone ring, you have phone mail, you can return a call or text when you are             Docked.  

2.       2. Leave the phone or smart watch at home or in the car, again it can wait

3.      3.  If you really need to answer have a passenger answer it for you but wait to return a call /     text when you are docked.

4.      4.  Have a proper look out. You have a lot going on navigating and driving the boat safely.          That person can assist you when visibility may not be the best.  Heavy boat traffic watching      out for other vessels and objects in the water, etc.

5.      5.  Reduce the speed, drive appropriately for the water, weather and boating conditions.         That beer will still be at your favorite water side bar. If necessary, slow down.

6.       6.  Wear a lifejacket or at least have one accessible in the event of an emergency.

 Don’t text and boat, put down the phone, have a lookout, drive responsibly, so you can boat another day.


  1. Capt Marty is such a perverted douche Trying to be all safety minded but yet can’t use a condom on his victims

  2. Yea I get distracted when I have some underage pussy buried in my face out here on the Lake of the Ozarks Call me 785-483-9706 if ur daughter is under 18 and needs her bush cleaned


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