New recreational boating statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard show Florida ranks number one in the nation for boating accidents and boating fatalities.
The Coast Guard says Florida led the nation with boating mishaps. The statistics were released just in time for National Safe Boating Week, which kicks off this weekend.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2014 Boating Accident Statistical Report, there were 634 reportable boating accidents in Florida last year, resulting in 73 fatalities.
Of those accidents, the majority of them happened during the months of May (90), followed by July (76) and April (70), and the majority of them happened between the hours of 4-6 p.m.
According to the FWC’s report, a collision with a vessel was the leading cause of the accident, followed by collision with fixed object, flooding/swamping, falls overboard and grounding.
See the counties with the most reportable boating accidents in 2014 in the slideshow above.
Nationally, drowning was the reported cause of death in three-fourths of recreational boating fatalities in 2014, and that 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing life jackets.
In many cases, life jackets were available but not utilized. This was true during two recent boating accidents where both adults and children ended up in the water.
You never know when there may be a boating mishap, so it’s important that everyone on-board always wears a life jacket, the Coast Guard reminds residents.
The National Safe Boating Week runs from May 16-22.
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