(Photo credit: Ocean Pines Police Department)(Photo credit: Ocean Pines Police Department)

OCEAN CITY, Md-Hot weather is here, and so are talks about boating safety. Today, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and the U.S. Coast Guard held meetings to talk about the dangers of the water.

Officials report there were 132 boating accidents in 2018 and 16 were fatalities. This is up by nearly 167 percent from the year prior, officials say.

Lee Gorlin with the U.S. Coast Guard said, “Boating under the influence is the leading cause of boating fatalities across the united states as well as inside Maryland.”

Today, the Coast Guard urged that “filing a float plan so your loved ones know where you are, when you’re going out,” may help save your life. As well as wearing a life jacket, and boating while sober.

Robert Ziegler, with Maryland Natural Resources said of the fatalities that occurred on Maryland waters, 80 percent could have been avoided if people wore their life jackets.

The Coast Guard also stressed the importance of taking boating courses to keep you, and others on the water safe. They said they often offer boating courses free of charge to keep boating accidents at a minimum.

“You have boats coming at you from all different directions at all different speeds, and you really have to be on your toes out there.”