This summer’s Washington boating accident and fatality statistics are yet another reminder of how important life jacket safety is while out on the water.

2011 Washington State Boating Fatality Statistics Reveal Importance of Life Jackets

As the weather gets cooler and the summer rolls to a close, Washington State officials are analyzing this year's boating accident statistics - and returning with the same message that they have been stressing in the past. It's simple: wear a life jacket when you are out on the water.


So far in 2011, 13 people have died in Washington State boating accidents. Only one of the thirteen fatalities involved a boater who was wearing a life vest. That's only seven percent.


While this statistic might seem shocking to some, Washington State Parks and Recreation is not surprised. Neither is the Seattle Police Department Harbor Unit. They know all too well that the most serious boating accidents in the state happen when people don't wear life jackets while on boats or in personal watercraft. In fact, in the last six years, the leading cause of death in boating accidents was drowning, and 90 percent of the 155 boating accident victims were not wearing a floatation device.


Why should you wear a life jacket even if you are a strong swimmer?

The Seattle Harbor Unit explained that cold water temperatures can cause even the best swimmers to go under, and that many people who are knocked off of a boat are too injured to swim or have been knocked unconscious during the accident.


What are the laws regarding life jackets in Washington State?

All children under 12 years of age are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on the water. All boaters must have a life jacket aboard their vessel. Those who violate the laws face fines up to $138.


What should you do if you are harmed in a Washington boating accident?

If you believe that your boating accident injury was caused by negligence or should have been prevented, you should speak with a Seattle boat accident attorney about the details of your case. You could deserve compensation for your injuries and other damages.  Call 425-289-1990 or 1-800-636-3676