Boating Safety Message = Fewer Fatalities

New USCG safety statistics indicate industry-wide "Safe Boating" effort working

The efforts of volunteer groups and the boating industry to promote on-water safety practices has resulted in a dramatic decrease in boating fatalities. 1996 U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) statistics (the latest available) chart 709 boating fatalities for the year, down nearly 15 percent from 1995, when 829 people died. Moreover, boating’s safety record shows dramatic improvement since 1987, when 1,036 fatalities were recorded. While fatalities were down, USCG reported accidents were up to 8,206 in 1996, the most ever reported. also at a record high were the number of injuries: 4,442.

"The record low number of fatalities is mainly due to the significant decrease in the number of drowning victims who were not wearing lifejackets. This is an encouraging trend and may have resulted from continued emphasis in the national campaign to wear lifejackets," according to USCG’s Boating Statistics 1996.

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