GIS Map Gallery: April 2003

Map of 2002 Boating Accidents

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The map of the month for April 2003 illustrates the distribution of boating accidents that occurred in 2002 around the Commonwealth. Spatial data on boating accidents are gathered and summarized at the end of each year. This information comes from law enforcement agencies performing watercraft investigations. Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) & Virginia Marine Resources Commission are the agencies that most frequently investigate boating accidents. Year-end reports are used to aid DGIF in visualizing accident occurrence. The ability to see where these accidents occur allows law enforcement officers to adjust patrols and focus boating education efforts.

Over the past few years boating accidents have decreased from 205 accidents in 1999 to 153 accidents in 2002. Though boating accidents as a whole have decreased, accidents involving personal watercrafts (PWC) tend to fluctuate. PWC accidents have numbered 48, 29, 42, and 54 in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 respectively. Along with the increase in PWC accidents, fatalities resulting from these accidents have also increased from only 2 fatalities between 1999 - 2001 to 4 fatalities in 2002. Total boating accident fatalities have remained steady over the past 4 years with an average of 19 fatalities per year.

According to DGIF regulations: If a boater does get into an accident, they must report the accident when there is damage over $2,000.00 by or to the vessel or its equipment; injury (requiring medical help beyond first aid); or disappearance or loss of life. Additionally, a written report must be filed by the operator or owner with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

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