Coast Guard urges caution following 7 deaths

NORFOLK, VA (AP) -- The Coast Guard is urging caution among boaters this holiday weekend after reporting seven water-related deaths in the Mid-Atlantic region in the past week.

The deaths occurred in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and North Carolina. Victims ranged from a 14-year-old boy who fell from a sandbar in Virginia's Rappahannock River to a 55-year-old man who fell overboard while crabbing in Maryland's Bush River. A 25-year-old Coast Guardsman also died after falling from a speed boat in New Jersey.

Other deaths came after boats capsized in Maryland and when someone fell while inner-tubing off Carolina Beach.

While the average number of water-related deaths has dropped regionally, trends show that numbers rise during the summer.

The Coast Guard's regional command in Virginia urged boaters on Thursday to take safety courses.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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