State wildlife officials are reminding people to stay safe on the water this Memorial Day weekend.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released its Boating Accident Statistical report ahead of the holiday in an effort to keep boaters safe.
According to the report, 62 people were killed in boating accidents last year, and there have been 11 deaths so far this year.
Pinellas County ranked fifth in the state in boating accidents, with 47. Officials said six of those crashes involved fatalities.
Hillsborough County ranked 11th with 19 boating accidents. None of those accidents involved fatalities, officials said.
The leading cause of accidents happens when boaters collide with other boats or crash into objects.
Officials say boaters can decrease the risk of those crashes by having someone keep watch of their surroundings.
“Often, accidents can be prevented by more careful operation,” said Lt. Seth Wagner. “It is critical for operators to maintain a proper lookout and focus on what is going on around their boat at all times.”
The leading cause of death on the water is drowning. Officials say that can be prevented by wearing a life jacket.
“There’s an easy fix: wear a life jacket,” Wagner said. “There are several styles of life jackets available to boaters that won’t interfere with your boating experience and may save your life.”