Wisconsin matches 2010 boating fatalities

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin waters have seen 18 fatalities this summer, already matching the number of watercraft fatalities in 2010.

Speeding is the leading cause of the fatalities, according to a report by the Wisconin DNR. Alcohol was cited in six of the deaths, or 33 percent. In 2010, alcohol contributed to 22 percent of the fatal accidents.

“If people were wearing life jackets when they were boating, we could probably cut these fatalities down by 75 percent,” said Jeremy Cords, recreational safety warden for the Wisconsin DNR’s northeast region, told the Green Bay Press Gazette.

According to a U.S. Coast Guard report, nearly 75 percent of the 672 victims in 2010 fatal boating accidents drowned, and of those, 88 percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket.

The Coast Guard also reported alcohol use was the leading factor in 19 percent of all 2010 deaths, more than any other contributor.

Read the full article here: Wisconsin boating fatalities at 18, equaling last year’s total

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