Florida Tops List of Boating Fatalities

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Florida again leads the nation in boating fatalities.

According to statistics released this week by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 77 people were killed on the water in 2007.

The numbers mark the 16th year in 20 that the Sunshine State has led the nation in fatalities.

Meanwhile, the commission has approved a plan to phase in mandatory boater education requirements over the next 11 years.

State officials say this could reduce the number of fatalities by as much as 25 percent.

Last year, 70 percent of all boating accidents involved operators with no formal safety education; for fatalities, that number was 85 percent.

The deadliest area for boaters in Florida was Miami-Dade with 13 fatalities.