The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission reports a 30 percent reduction in boating fatalities between 2007 and 2008, with 54 deaths reported in 2008.
"Although boating fatalities were down in 2008, so far in 2009, 21 people have lost their lives on the state's waters," said Lt. Ed Cates of the FWC's boating and waterways section. "Boaters can be safer by following a few simple boating safety tips."
Drowning is the leading cause of boating fatalities, even though most of the victims reportedly knew how to swim.
"The greatest way to ensure that you and your passengers make it home at the end of the day is to get into the habit of wearing a life jacket," Cates said.