John Ferro of the Poughkeepsie Journal analyzed the Coast Guard's recreational boating accident database and found that "the rate of boating accidents in New York involving operators who never received any kind of formal safety training has consistently exceeded the national average." In 2004, the rate was 57 percent, the highest since 1996. New York's rate is well above the national rate, which has declined steadily. Overall, the number of boating accidents and deaths is declining, both across the country and in New York. Read more stories about boating safety: Being informed benefits boaters and Bills seek stricter education requirements for boat operators.