NORTH CAROLINA - The Coast Guard is stressing the importance of safe summer boating and swimming practices.
According to the Coast Guard 5th District, 40 drowning deaths have been reported from northern New Jersey to southern North Carolina this summer. Officials said 34 of those people were not wearing life jackets.
"Regardless of how a person ends up in the water, wearing a life jacket is the single most important precaution a person can take to increase their chances of survival when things go wrong," said Capt. William Cameron, 5th District response chief. "We are losing too many people for easily-preventable reasons here in the Mid-Atlantic region."
The Coast Guard encourages boaters and swimmers to take simple precautions to stay safe, including swimming near lifeguards, taking a boating safety course and being aware of local weather and current conditions.