Maine life jacket bill withdrawn

Posted April 07, 2009, at 12:13 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that would have required all boaters in Maine to wear life jackets has been withdrawn.

The bill was pulled by its sponsor before a hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee that had been scheduled for Tuesday. Bath Democratic Rep. Thomas Watson says he withdrew the bill because it was too broad.

Coast Guard figures show 12 boating deaths in Maine in 2006. Between 2002 and 2006, there were 51 deaths on Maine waters reported to the Coast Guard. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 68 percent of the fatalities in non-motorized boating accidents between 2000 and 2007 involved people who were not wearing PFDs.

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