According to 2007 U.S. Coast Guard recreational accident data, those who fish and those who waterski have similar numbers of recreational boating accidents. However, the risk that the angler will have a fatal boating accident is more than 10 times that of someone on skis: 34 percent versus 3 percent.
Skiing is done in open water with three people involved: the boat operator, the lookout and the skier.
In open water, additional help for a downed skier can be as close as other boaters or people on or near the shore.
Skiing is more often a warm-weather pursuit-again, raising the likelihood that other boaters will be nearby to help if needed. Most important, the skier is very likely to be wearing a life jacket.
Anglers are sometimes alone in a quiet cove fishing during the "shoulder" seasons when vacationers and crowds of pleasure boaters are absent.
Too often a life jacket is not worn.
Solitude, heavy clothes and no life jacket can be a deadly combination if the boat capsizes or the angler falls overboard.