Boating Crashes on the Rise in Virginia

September 15, 2009

The number of boating crashes in Virginia is up significantly from last year, and cheaper gasoline may be part of the reason.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has recorded 134 accidents offshore, in the Chesapeake Bay and on all freshwater through Sept. 9.

Last year, there were 95 crashes, a 20-year low.

Charlie Sledd, outreach director for boating safety with the department, says the low number last year was thanks largely to gas that cost up to $4 per gallon.

With cheaper gas, more boaters are on the water, meaning crashes are likelier.

In order to be counted in statistics, a boat crash has to involve damage exceeding $2,000, an injury that requires more than first aid, a disappearance or a death.

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