Nevada boaters’ luck holds this season |

Nevada boaters’ luck holds this season

Staff Reports

State officials are saying luck is partially responsible for the first season in 18 years with no fatal boat accidents in Nevada waters.

“We know some of this statistic is sheer luck,” said Nevada’s Boating Law Administrator David Pfiffner. “Several of our serious accidents could have ended with someone dying.”

The boating season draws to a close in the next couple of months.

“We have had some decrease in boating activity, due to the economy, but we think a number of factors-including the increased efforts to educate boaters- by both NDOW and other boating safety organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is having an effect.”

The numbers show serious accidents trending lower overall, according to Pfiffner, although a full comparison to other years won’t be possible until the end of the year.

Nevada started a boating education program in 2003, mandating that boaters born on or after January 1, 1983 take a boating education course before operating a motorboat of more than 15 horsepower on Nevada’s interstate waters. There have been other initiatives too, including stepped up boating safety enforcement on Lake Tahoe and increased boating under the influence patrols on Lakes Mead and Mohave among many other initiatives over the years.

“We’ve been working together with NDOW for years to improve education, and we hope this year is the beginning of a long trend,” said Dave Law, the Coast Guard Auxiliary liaison to the state of Nevada. “Aside from universal life jacket wear, we think boating education is the best way for boaters to stay safe on the water.”

Despite the lack of fatal accidents, there have still been a number of very serious injury accidents in Nevada, including one with a propeller injury at Lake Lahontan and a boat grounding at Lake Mead that seriously injured several people.

Boaters who want to take a boating safety class or learn more about NDOWs boating safety program can visit NDOW on the web at