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via News5:

The week of May 18 to 24 is National Safe Boating Week, and with Memorial Day weekend coming up many boaters in northeast Ohio are preparing for the unofficial start of recreational boating season and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to be safe out on the water.

Between 2015 and 2018, according to ODNR, the department investigated 63 fatalities on the water, 18 of them in 2018. In 2018, drowning was the cause of death in half of all fatalities, and 75% of victims were reported not to be wearing life jackets. ODNR also said that in 2018, it investigated 148 boating incidents that resulted in 59 injuries.

“We find a lot of times that a lot of our boating fatalities, unfortunately, could have been solved by simply wearing a life jacket,” said Lieutenant Chuck Stiver, who works for ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft

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