MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Year round sunshine and mild weather makes South Florida a boater’s paradise. But it’s not all smooth sailing.
Last year, 67 people died and 431 people were injured in boating accidents, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s annual report on boating accidents. The main cause of boating deaths was boaters falling overboard.
Conservation commission investigator Andy Bickel says life jackets could prevent most drowning deaths.
According to the report, alcohol or drug use played a role in 15 percent of the boating deaths. Most of the victims in fatal boating accidents were male.
Officials found that Monroe County, which includes the Keys, had both the highest number of boating accidents and the highest number of boating injuries in Florida.
Wildlife officials say 28 boating deaths have been reported so far this year.
Florida leads the nation with 922,491 registered vessels.
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