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Boating accident data updated in NICAR database library

Now that it's just warm enough to get in a boat, the NICAR database library has updated the Coast Guard's U.S. Recreational Boat Accident Database.

The updated data has accident reports from 1995 through 2011. Accidents involving vessel damage of more than $2,000 or disappearance of a person under circumstances that indicate death or injury are reported. The data include information on the nature of the accident, the vessels involved, plus any injuries and/or deaths. See the record layouts on each of the four tables for more detailed information.

The data are submitted annually by state; however, some states have declined to allow the Coast Guard to release their information in recent years. Please check the state listing by year here

The tables in the Boat Accident Database come in .dbf (dBase) format, easily imported into Access and other database managers. If you'd like something different, contact us and we'll do our best to help you out.  Email or call (573) 884-7711.

The Recreational Boat Accident Database allows reporters to find information about the vessels, people and conditions involved in the accident. For example: where was the accident, what caused it, what was the total damage, how many boats were involved, how many people were injured, etc. Because of the simplicity of this database, it is a good one for beginning CAR reporters to use.

To order the full data online, visit the online store at or contact the library.
(573) 884-7711

Call or email with questions, or to ask about the many training opportunities IRE provides to help you learn how to use data for stories.

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