The number of boating accidents, injuries and deaths on Tennessee’s waterways have risen in 2004 compared to the same period in 2003, according to a report released Friday by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
As July began, the total number of accidents was 117 (compared to 73 in 2003), the number of serious injuries had risen to 50 from 27, and there had been 18 fatalities – compared to 5 the year before.
“We’ve had considerably more accidents and more injuries and deaths for this time of year than we had for the same period of time one year ago,” said Ed Carter, chief of TWRA’s boating division. “We have had several drowning deaths that probably would have been prevented with life jackets or vests.”
Several accidents this year were the result of boats being swamped or capsizing in waters with strong current.