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Wear It! Identifies States With Highest Number of Boating Fatalities and Accidents

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 08/13/14 -- Labor Day may mark the unofficial end to the summer boating season, but boaters will continue to enjoy time on the water throughout the year. Following safe and responsible boating practices, including wearing a life jacket, being alert and aware while on the water, and obeying navigation rules, can make each time you are on the water fun while always being prepared for an emergency situation.

The National Safe Boating Council, a lead organization of the annual Wear It! boating safety campaign, has identified states with the highest number of fatalities and accidents in 2013, based on the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics released in May 2014. From 2012 to 2013, deaths in boating related accidents decreased to 560, the lowest number of boating fatalities on record.

"The statistics show that no matter where you are boating, following boating safety practices, being properly prepared and equipped, and always wearing a life jacket can help save many lives," said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council. "We will continue to educate boaters about safe and responsible boating practices."

A 2013 survey conducted by the National Safe Boating Council found that life jacket wear is significantly higher in medium and high Wear It! campaign activity locations than in locations with no campaign activity. Read the detailed findings at http://www.SafeBoatingCampaign.com/campaign-measurable-results.htm.

The top-ranking states for boating deaths:
1. Florida
2. California
3. Texas
4. South Carolina
5. Michigan
6. Tennessee
7. New York
8. Pennsylvania/Washington (tie)
9. Georgia/Missouri/North Carolina (tie)
10. Arkansas/Louisiana (tie)

The top-ranking states for boating accidents:
1. Florida
2. California
3. New York
4. Texas
5. North Carolina
6. New Jersey
7. Tennessee
8. Missouri
9. Maryland
10. Ohio

In 2013, the Coast Guard counted 4,062 accidents that involved 560 deaths, 2,620 injuries and approximately $39 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Where cause of death was known, 84 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

The North American Safe Boating Campaign (Wear It!) unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates, including the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, Canadian Safe Boating Council and many members of the National Safe Boating Council. The campaign is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

To learn more about safe and responsible boating practices, please visit SafeBoatingCampaign.com.

Follow Wear It! on twitter.com/BoatingCampaign and facebook.com/SafeBoatCampaign.

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