Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Police focus on safe boating for National Safe Boating Week

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard and Virginia Marine Police are focusing their efforts on boating safety Friday in support of National Safe Boating Week and in preperation for the Memorial Day weekend.

National Safe Boating Week is an annual, nation-wide campaign focused on promoting safe boating practices that started Saturday and ends Friday.

Nationwide, from 2011 to 2012, deaths in boating-related accidents decreased from 758 to 651, a 14.1 percent decrease. Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, according to the Coast Guard’s 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics Report. Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

Nearly 71 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, with 84 percent of those victims not reported as wearing a life jacket.

From 2011 to 2012, accidents in Virginia decreased from 121 to 89 and the number of deaths decreased from 21 to 15.

More information on the importance of boating safety and resources detailing steps that can be taken to minimize risk on the water can be found at www.safeboatingcampaign.comand


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