Sixty-two people were killed in boating crashes in Florida last year and there have been 11 deaths so far this year, according to a state boating accident report released Friday.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its 2013 Boating Accident Statistical Report ahead of Memorial Day weekend, detailing boating accidents and their causes.
Failing to have a proper lookout was a leading cause of boating accidents. In fatal accidents, drowning was the leading cause of death, according to the statistical report.
“Often, accidents can be prevented by more careful operation,” Lt. Seth Wagner said in a statement. “It is critical for operators to maintain a proper lookout and focus on what is going on around their boat at all times.”
Wildlife officials stressed the importance of wearing a life jacket. Today’s boaters can choose from several styles that “won’t interfere with your boating experience and may save your life .”
The commission is responsible for reviewing, analyzing and compiling boating accident data for the state.
“The leading type of accident continues to be boaters colliding with other boats or objects,” Wagner said. “With the number of boaters in our beautiful state, it’s important to pay close attention to everything that’s going on around you.”