SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah state parks officials are warning boaters to be safe over the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend.
Officials say a recent study by the U.S. Coast Guard found Utah had the fifth highest boater fatality rate in the nation during 2010. The state had 14.2 deaths per 100,000 registered boats compared to the national fatality rate of 5.4 deaths. Other states with high rates included Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, West Virginia and Minnesota.
Open motorboats make up about half of the vessels involved in fatal accidents, followed by canoes, kayaks, inflatables and personal watercraft.
Officials say that in nearly three-quarters of the fatal accidents, 88% of victims were not wearing life jackets.