Boating fatalities fall to record low

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The Coast Guard announced Wednesday its official 2010 recreational boating statistics and noted that total fatalities fell to a record low of 672.

The 2010 record is four fatalities less than the previous low in 2004, and is 26 deaths lower than the average number for the past 10 years.

Total reported accidents were 4,604 in 2010, down from 4,730 in 2009, while injuries totaled 3,153, down from 3,358. Property damage was estimated at $35 million.

The top five primary contributing factors in accidents are operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol use, according to the Coast Guard. Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents, and it was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of the deaths.

Click here to view all the 2010 recreational boating safety statistics.

For information on boating responsibly, go to http://www.uscgboating.org.