WASHINGTON, DC (WTNH) – New statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard show boating accidents and deaths were up in 2015 over 2014 but there were fewer injuries.
Despite the increase in deaths from 610 to 626 nationwide, 1 2.6 percent increase, it was the third-lowest number of fatalities on record. Accidents were up 2.3 percent from 4,064 to 4,158. Injures were down from 2.678 in 2014 compared to 2,613 in 2015, a 2.4 percent decrease.
The statistics show that 22 children under age 13 died, 12 of them from drowning. Two of the children were wearing life jackets but 5 were not but also were not required to be wearing them under law.
Alcohol is listed as the leading contributing factor in fatal accidents and was the leading factors in 17 percent of the deaths. 71 percent of deaths were on vessels where the operator did not have boating safety instruction.
The report says the majority of accidents involved motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats and the highest number of fatalities were on open motorboats, kayaks and canoes.