Evans School of Public Policy & Governance

The concern for the safety and well-being of non-motorized boating users has increased as the interest and participation in these activities has risen. Little research has been conducted around non-motorized boating risk and fatality.

EPIC is documenting the prevalence of boating fatalities and rescues in Washington state; comparing Washington’s rates of fatalities and rescues to other states and developing recommendations about effective and collective ways to increase boater safety in the state.

This report provides background into non-motorized boating activity in Washington State including an overview of existing research and Washington law; a study of non-motorized boating fatalities from Washington State Parks Boating Program’s Boat Accident Report Database (BARD) by county; feedback from stakeholders in the Washington State boating industry; comparisons between Washington State and other
states nationally using the National Recreational Boating Safety Survey (NRBSS); and recommendations for increased boater safety in Washington State.

General inquiries about the report may be addressed to: evansepic@uw.edu.