With seven boating fatalities so far on Iowa lakes and rivers, the state is on pace for its deadliest summer boating season in recent years.
Seven fatalities are the most Iowa has seen since nine were reported for the entire boating season in 2007. The most dangerous boating months of July and August are still ahead.
Alcohol may be playing a role. Authorities say 22 people have been arrested for drunken boating in the state. In all of last year, 54 were arrested.
The Des Moines Register reports that from 2006 to 2011, alcohol was a contributing factor in 43 Iowa boating accidents, which included 13 deaths and 23 injuries. That’s nearly half of the 27 fatalities during that span.
Nationally, about two-thirds of all boating crashes are alcohol-related.