Top 10 states for boating accidents

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The National Safe Boating Council, through the use of Coast Guard Accident Statistics, has identified states with the highest number of accidents and fatalities in 2009. By order of the number of incidents, they are:

1. Florida

2. California

3. Texas

4. Michigan

5. Louisiana

6. Virginia

7. New York

8. Tennessee/Washington (tie)

9. Kentucky

10. North Carolina

In 2009, the Coast Guard counted 4,730 accidents that involved 736 deaths, 3,358 injuries and approximately $36 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing life jackets.

"The statistics show that no matter where you are boating, being properly prepared and equipped and wearing a life jacket can help save many lives," said Virgil Chambers, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, noting that life jackets are now more comfortable and easy to wear than their predecessors.

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