State wildlife officials report a record low of 13 boating fatalities for Louisiana in 2013.
The previous low for boating fatalities was 19 in 1992 with a high of 79 in 1974 — the first year boating incident statistics were recorded. Since 2010, Louisiana has averaged 25 boating fatalities a year.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Enforcement Division’s Boating Safety Program released the data last week.
The department attributes the drop in boating fatalities primarily to the state’s mandatory boating education class. Since 2003, more than 50,000 boaters statewide have been certified.
Officials say stricter driving or operating a vessel while under the influence enforcement and introducing new regulations for wearing a personal flotation device also helped lower the numbers.