Florida boating deaths up, accidents down in 2002


Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 at 1:39 a.m.

TALLAHASSEE - The number of boating accidents went down last year but more people were killed on the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday.

Sixty-one people died on boats or personal watercraft in Florida waters last year, said Lt. Kent Harvey of the commission. That was seven more than in 2001, Harvey said.

The number of accidents dropped from 1,093 to 1,002.

Officials blame the problem on a lack of training.

"It's the people who are not educated, or not familiar with the waterways, or not familiar with the boat, or personal watercraft they are operating," Harvey said.

It's also a function of more boaters being on the water, he said.

Authorities says last year's increased rainfall also contributed to the problem, filling lakes and rivers making them more accessible to boaters.

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