Florida boating accidents up in 2015


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida had 737 boating accidents last year, an increase of 103 accidents from 2014 -- though the number of fatalities dropped, according to information released this week by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

In all, 55 people died in 2015, down from 73 the previous year.

A news release issued Wednesday said people falling overboard is the leading cause of death.

A detailed report accompanying the release said Florida led the nation with 915,713 registered vessels in 2015.

"Many of the accidents in this report could have been prevented if the boat operators had paid attention to everything going on around their vessel, maintained a proper lookout and if everyone had been wearing a life jacket," Capt. Tom Shipp, of the commission's Boating and Waterways Section, said in a prepared statement.