NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Coast Guard officials in Connecticut are warning boaters to make safety their priority this boating season, saying emergency crews have responded to a high number of boating incidents on the water this year.
The Coast Guard says its units based in Connecticut and New York have responded to nine boating fatalities, 25 boats taking on water and 321 search-and-rescue cases so far this year.
The agency says many of those incidents were preventable.
The agency says about 85 percent of drowning fatalities involved the victim who was not wearing a lifejacket.
Eighty-six percent of accidents that occurred on boats involved the operator who had not attended a boasting safety course, even though the Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free boating safety courses and vessel safety checks.