Wisconsin Boating Deaths Up; Lawmakers say Change is Needed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Wisconsin lawmakers will consider a bill this year that would require all children to don life jackets while boating on state waters.

Federal law already requires life jackets for children under age 12 on federal waters.

But authorities say it's not doing enough.

Wisconsin had a record 24 boating deaths last year -- while the number of such deaths continues to drop nationwide. Five people have already died in Wisconsin this season.

The U.S. Coast Guard says most boating deaths are caused by capsizing or falling overboard, mostly without wearing a life jacket.

The state proposal also would require all new boaters to take a boating safety course to get a license -- making Wisconsin one of the last states to adopt a law like that.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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