The Coast Guard released its 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics on Monday, revealing that boating fatalities last year totaled 651, the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.
There were 651 boating deaths last year, a decline of 14.1 percent from 758 in 2011, and there were 3,000 injuries, down 2.6 percent from 3,081 the previous year. The total number of reported recreational boating accidents dropped to 4,515, a decline of 1.6 percent from 4,588 in 2011.
The fatality rate for 2012 of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels reflected a 12.9 percent decrease from the previous year's rate of 6.2 deaths. Property damage totaled about $38 million.
"We're very pleased that casualties are lower and thank our partners for their hard work over the past year," Capt. Paul Thomas, director of inspections and compliance at Coast Guard headquarters, said in a statement. "We will continue to stress the importance of life jacket wear, boating education courses and sober boating."