From the viewpoint of waterway transport, last summer was safer than the previous one and according to Trafi's estimate, this may turn out to be the safest boating year in history. By the end of August, 22 people had been killed in water transport accidents, which is almost less than half the number for the same period last year.
According to preliminary statistics on water transport accidents, 22 people were killed in water transport accidents between January and August, when last year a total of 40 people lost their lives in such accidents during the same period of time.
“This summer, the boating season was delightfully safe. It certainly played a role that in many places last summer was exceptionally cool, but hopefully it is also a question of people wearing their life vests more often than before.” says Ville Räisänen, Head of Unit at Trafi.
“In September, the weather has been good for boating, and I hope that the boating culture will remain as safe in the autumn as it was until the end of August. At the moment, it seems that this year may turn out to be the safest boating year in history. So, let us all boaters going out to autumn waters take care that we can this way give a great gift to the 100-year-old Finland,” says Räisänen in encouragement to us all
Last year, a total of 48 people died in water transport accidents, eight of them in autumn.
Most of the accidents happened to people on motor boats, just like in the previous years. In most of the cases, the boat had been small and unstable, equipped with a motor, whereas those sailing bigger motor boats very seldom end up in these statistics. This summer, the number of rowing boat accidents in particular fell from last year.
“The reduction in the number of rowing boat accidents is a very positive sign, since traditionally an older man, who has taken a few beers and then rowed off to check on his fishing nets without wearing a life vest, has been an unfortunately common occurrence in the water transport accident statistics,” Räisänen mentions.
According to preliminary statistics, the main reason for almost all fatal accidents had been capsizing or swaying of the boat, or an human error by a person on the boat.
Most of the fatal accidents happened in Southwest Finland and North Karelia. In proportion to the number of boats, the largest number of fatal accidents happened in North Karelia and Kanta-Häme. 16 people lost their lives in accidents that happened on inland waterways and 6 on sea areas.
Ville Räisänen, Head of Unit., tel. +358 29 5346 457, ville.raisanen(at)trafi.fi, on Twitter @villeraisanen
Mika Idman, Special Adviser, tel. +358 29 534 5222, mika.idman (at) trafi.fi, on Twitter @MikaIdman (statistics)