What are the focus safety areas that contribute to boating fatalities and incidents?

Transport for NSW reviewed fatality, serious injury, incident, infringement and complaints data to identify five focus safety areas for MSP 2026.

Lifejacket wear: contributes to 60.3% of recreational boating fatalities and is the most important priority issue.

Weather conditions: contributes to 22% of total boating fatality incidents

Boater age: has accounted for an increasing share of fatal incidents over time, contributes 26.7% of recreational boating fatalities

Trauma: for example, fatalities caused by excessive speed and towing safety, there has been a lack of improvement in the rate over the long term, contributes 25.2% of recreational boating fatalities

Open runabouts: this vessel type accounts for the greatest share of incidents among all vessel types and is significantly overrepresented in the incident data and contributes 31.7% of total boating fatality incidents.

Collectively these five focus areas contributed to 94.7% of all recreational boating fatalities over the 10 years to June 2020. These focus areas and stakeholder consultation have informed the development of the four priority areas of the plan.

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