Missouri Boating Deaths Down from Last Year

SEPTEMBER 5, 2006 - Posted at 8:08 a.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - For many Missouri boaters, Labor Day weekend marks the end of the boating season.  And authorities say the number of boating accidents and fatalities are down slightly from last year.

Before the Labor Day weekend this year, the Missouri Water Patrol reported 17 boating-related deaths and 94 injuries, most involving drunken boaters.  That compares to 20 fatalities and 95 injuries at this time in 2005.

Water patrol Sergeant Ralph Bledsoe credits the slight inprovement in part to a state boating law that took effect at the beginning of last year.  It requires young people to pass a boating safety course before they can operate a power boat, sailboat or personal watercraft.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)