The number of boating fatalities has risen nationwide to 697 in 2005, the latest year of statistics available. The five top causes of boating accidents are:
1. Collision with another vessel;
2. Falls Overboard
3. Collision with a fixed object;
4. Skier Mishap; and
5. Capsizing vehicles
There are many contributing factors to boat accidents including excessive speed, operator inattention, careless or reckless operation and operator inexperience.
Boating cases in navigable waters may apply Admiralty law, which, in many cases, is more favorable to the injured party than is California State law.