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RB Hydroplane 2.JPGCalifornia is the nation's most populous state but ranks fourth in the number of boats plying oceanic and inland waterways.

Conversely, the state is second behind only Florida when it comes to the number of boating accidents and boating fatalities, according to a new data report from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Florida has the nation's highest number of boats, almost a million, followed closely by Minnesota, Michigan and California. Florida was also No. 1 in boating accidents in 2012 with 662, according to the Coast Guard, in fatalities with 50 and in injuries with 398.

However, California was second in accidents (365), in fatalities (49) and in injuries (249). The state has been trending downward in boating accidents, the report's five-year spreadsheet also showed, but the number of fatalities has remained fairly constant, ranging from a low of 45 in 2008 to 52 in 2011.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Peters & May hydroplane race boat driven by JW Myers at Granite State Beach in Folsom on Thursday, September 8, 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton


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