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Sandy Debris Doesn’t Increase Boating Accidents

Coast Guard motor lifeboat (US Coast Guard)

Despite fears about Superstorm Sandy debris possibly increasing boating accidents this summer, state officials say the figures remain at seasonal norms. 

Officials tell the Toms River Patch, some areas were identified as having increased shoaling and shifting sandbars, but there were no serious accidents tied to storm debris.

Through August 16th, 85 vessel accidents had been reported, involving 29 injuries and five fatalities, according to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Adam Grossman. In 2012, there were 115 accidents resulting in eight deaths.

Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard show a higher accident rate in New Jersey several years prior, including a spike to 140 accidents in 2008 which claimed 10 lives.

“As the season went on, people became more comfortable,” said Melissa Danko, Executive Director of the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, an industry group that primarily represents marinas and others in the boating business. Many marinas reported increased sales as the season went on, Danko told Toms River Patch, as boaters’ confidence in the safety of local waterways increased.

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