Calif. report says life jackets are critical

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According to the recently released “2007 California Boating Safety Report,” 39 of the 55 victims who died in state boating accidents were not wearing life jackets. The Department of Boating and Waterways report provides data about boating accidents, injuries and deaths reported in 2007.

“Life jacket use is critical to safe boating,” said Cal Boating director Raynor Tsuneyoshi, in a statement. “All boaters, including anglers, are urged to always wear life jackets and to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages while on board a vessel. Information from the 2007 report will help us better target our education efforts to stress these messages.”

Of the fatalities outlined in the report, 19 were fishing-related and 20 involved alcohol. Thirty-nine victims drowned.

In 2007, 804 boating accidents occurred in California, ranking it first among all states, followed by Florida, which had 668. Florida is the only state with more boating fatalities (77) and more registered recreational vessels (1,027,043). There are 964,881 registered recreational vessels in California.

To view the “2007 California Boating Safety Report,” visit www.dbw.ca.gov.

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