Boating is a fun, and excellent activity for you and your family, especially inflatable boats, are good for fishing and general purposes. As a buyer, you might be concerned about inflatable boats, whether they are safe or dangerous than other boats, so I did some research to find out, statistically, whether inflatable boats are safe or dangerous.
Inflatable boats can be dangerous, but the statistics show that the inflatable boats are 45 times safer than other motorized boats (including both open and cabin motorboats). And by doing a few changes to the way you ride the boat, you can dramatically reduce the risk of injury and dangers.
Any sport or activity has its risks and dangers, but those risks or threats shouldn’t concern you from doing those activities. By doing it the right way and the correct way will give you a lot of fun and thrill. And you can completely turn it into a very safe and fun activity to do with your kids and family.
Inflatable boats are very safe, especially for calm water activities such as fishing and relaxation. However, inflatable boats are not safe to use in rough waters or in seas because these boats are very light and can be carried away by the waves and can cause many dangers. So, inflatable boats are not safe for rough waters.
Other than using in rough waters, inflatable boats are safe. With that being said, let’s see some statistics of inflatable boat accidents, injuries, and deaths to get some idea about whether inflatable boats are safe or dangerous compared to other non-motorized boats and motorized boats. And lastly, some safety measures to take along with it as well.
Related post – Check my article on Is boating safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether boating is safe or dangerous.
Interesting Statistics on Inflatable boat accidents
The statistics below can be an excellent resource for understanding the significant causes of inflatable boat accidents. And by knowing the causes, you can avoid them by making slight changes in the way you ride, which can immensely reduce your risk of serious injury.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 43,058 boating accidents occurred (source). Out of which 368 are related to inflatable boats, and 16,895 are related to motorboats (open and cabin motorboats).
- With that, we can tell that inflatable boats are a lot safer than other boats, especially motorized boats (both open and cabin boats) such as jet boats, personal watercraft, Bayliner, Pontoon boats, Jon boats, etc.
- From 2010 to 2019, a total of 6,482 deaths related to boating has occurred, among which 207 deaths are related to inflatable boats, which is significantly less compared to motorboat deaths that are 3,428.
- Suppose if we compare the deaths from kayak and canoe that are 1,298, which is 6 times more than the deaths related to inflatable boats. With that, we can tell that inflatable boats are a lot safer than non-motorized boats (kayak and canoe).
- Among all the deaths related to an inflatable boat, more than 80% of the deaths are caused due to drowning in the water, despite the fact that life jacket is most common among all the boaters.
- From 2010 to 2019, 10,578 personal watercraft accidents have occurred, which is 28.73 times more than inflatable boat accidents. With that, we can tell that inflatable boats are a lot safer than PWCs as well.
- Capsizing is one of the major causes of accidents related to inflatable boats, which can be prevented by not overloading the boat and evenly spreading the weight on the boat.
- Collision with fixed objects is another major cause of inflatable boat accidents, which can be prevented by proper lookout while boating and maintaining an appropriate distance between other boats.
- Among all those inflatable boat accidents, more than 70% of the accidents have occurred due to collision with fixed objects and capsizing, which can be prevented easily.
- Inflatable boats are not safe in rough waters, especially seas or oceans. So, better, don’t do it in the rough waters.
Inflatable boat, Kayak & Canoe, motorboat, and PWC accidents are given below in the table. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know the differences between the Inflatable boat accidents and other boat accidents.
|Year||Inflatable boat||Kayak and canoe||Open and closed motorboats||PWC|
You can see the accidents, injuries, and deaths related to the inflatable boats in the table below. By looking into the statistics, you will get to know how many accidents, injuries, and deaths occur in the past years and their trends.
Related post – Check my article on Is Jet skiing safe? (links opens in a new tab) to know statistically whether jet skiing is safe or dangerous.
Some of the safety tips to be followed while boating
Now you got to know some of the significant causes of inflatable boat accidents such as improper lookout, collision with fixed objects, drowning, etc. By making some changes to the way you ride, you can avoid some of them.
You can check one of my articles to know the Major causes of boating accidents (opens in a new tab) in a detailed way for each case (cause). Okay, let’s see some of the safety tips to take while boating, especially for inflatable boats.
1. Don’t overload the boat
- Capsizing is one of the significant causes of inflatable boat accidents; improper loading or overloading or uneven loading causes an inflatable boat to capsize. Especially inflatable boats are very light and can capsize easily. By not overloading the boat, you are 70% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident.
- And this can be easily prevented by loading the boat properly without exceeding the maximum limit and avoiding uneven loading. Since most deaths are caused by drowning, you can avoid most of the accidents and injuries by loading a boat properly.
2. Tie the kill switch to the hand or PFD
- Falling out of an inflatable is very common compared to other big boats because here you are sitting on a tube kind of thing, making you lose stability due to waves or any. If you are alone and fall overboard, then the boat will move forward a little bit (10m or 20m) since the motor is not turned off.
- So, tying a kill switch to the hand or PFD will automatically turn off the motor, which reduces the effort of not swimming more distance in the water after falling overboard.
3. Better avoid rough waters
- The inflatable boats are very light, and they are very easy to get carried away by big waves or winds, it is good to avoid boating in rough or choppy waters.
- Inflatable boats are very likely to get wrecked by the waves and bad weather since they are very light. So, by not using the boat in rough waters, you can avoid many dangers.
4. Check the weather before starting the trip
- Weather is one of the things that concern many people when they think about boating. Like many people think (assume) that the weather is the only dangerous part when it comes to boating, but it is not entirely true; only to some extent.
- By checking the weather condition before starting the trip, you can avoid some percent of boating accidents, which will make you 20% less likely to die or injure in a boating accident, especially inflatable boats may not perform well in choppy waters.
5. Wear a life jacket (PFD)
- Wearing a life jacket is one of the crucial things to do while operating a boat, especially while using an inflatable boat because these boats can capsize very easily since they are very light. So, better be prepared by wearing a life jacket.
- Simply wearing a life jacket isn’t sufficient; it should fit you as well, and it should be approved by USCG as well.
Those are some of the safety tips to reduce the risks and dangers while boating. And some of the causes of boating accidents are simple causes, and most of them are easily preventable. Check my article on Boating safety tips (opens in a new tab) to know the essential safety tips in detail.
Still, there are many things to do to prevent boating accidents. Check my article on How to avoid boating accidents (opens in a new tab) to know more info about the prevention tips.
Safety is going to be the first priority to anyone, and by taking some measures while boating (operating the boat), you can do that. After making some changes to the way you ride the boat, you can prevent the majority of the boating accidents.
Especially inflatable boats may not perform well in rough waters. Other than that, statistics also show that inflatable boats are a lot safer than other boats. Boating is a fun activity, and it is a safe activity until if you do something wrong or neglect the boating rules.