29 people die in NC boating accidents so far this year

Boating (Photo: WWAY)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Wildlife Commission says 29 people have died in boating accidents this year, making it the deadliest in the past 20 years.

Commission officials tell the Asheville Citizen-Times that victims weren’t wearing life jackets in 23 of those deaths. In six deaths, alcohol was a factor.

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The commission will activate its annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign this Labor Day weekend. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 percent could be arrested.

Commission records dating to 1981 show the highest number of deaths in boating accidents was 37 in 1990. Last year, the number of deaths fell to a low of 13.