How precisely can the splash-down point of re-entering capsules (from Mercury onwards) be known in advance? Wasn't there a risk that capsules would hit a ship or an island?
Likewise, Russian and Chinese capsules that re-enter on dry land seem to have a risk of landing on a house, tree, cliffside, river, or other inopportune spot. On land, there are a lot more potential obstacles.
The same could be asked about rocket components falling to the sea or about military test missiles. For these, there might be a lot a lot less precision. How well is the landing spot known, and that are the risks of hitting something?
The converse question: Does the predictability of the landing always allow recovery boats to be close enough to reach the capsule in a few minutes? Is there a chance that that won't be possible?