Boating fatalities in Minnesota remain stubbornly high
Boating fatalities in Minnesota remain high despite stepped-up enforcement efforts.
Preliminary numbers from the Department of Natural Resources list 17 boating-related deaths in Minnesota in 2016. The Star Tribune reports that’s one fewer than in 2015, which set an 11-year high with 18.
Boating while intoxicated citations jumped this year to 106, compared with 81 last year and 76 in 2014.
The number of nonfatal boating accidents went up this year to the highest number in eight years, to 76 compared with 71 last year.
Minnesota saw its 2015 uptick in boating-related deaths after an early ice-out and warm weather. This year’s warm days, extended boating season and low gas prices boosted boating traffic on lakes and rivers again. Alcohol is the top factor in deaths and accidents.