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Coast Guard reports 51 Northeast boating deaths in 2011

Recreational boating and paddling fatalities on waters in the northeastern United States remained nearly the same for the second year in a row.

The 1st Coast Guard District recorded a preliminary total of 51 deaths during 2011. There were 50 fatalities in 2009 and 51 fatalities in 2010. Capsizing or falling overboard while not wearing a life jacket were the main factors resulting in fatalities.

Boating fatalities were divided between 29 deaths on motorized vessels and 22 on non-motorized vessels.

Of the 51 boaters who died last year, 44 were not wearing life jackets.

“Life jackets save lives,” 1st Coast Guard District recreational boating safety specialist Walt Taylor said in a statement. "Take a boating education course. Ensure you have all the required safety equipment to have a safe and fun boating season next year."