Recreational boating deaths surged last year in Alaska, but the long-term trend offers better news for safety on the water, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The national summary of recreational accidents shows there were 5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats, down from 5.9 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. The number of accidents fell by 3.9 percent, and the number of injuries fell by 9.4 percent, paralleling the decline in deaths.
Alaska bucked the trend, however: There were 20 recreational boating fatalities in Alaska last year, according to the Coast Guard’s data. That’s up from 19 in 2016 and seven in 2015. The number of recreational boating accidents declined, from 26 in 2016 to 15 in 2017.