LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Even before a pontoon boat struck a barge on the Ohio River on July 4, killing five people in Louisville, Kentucky was on pace to have the most boating-related deaths since 2010, federal and state data show.

Those deaths bring the total number of fatalities from boating accidents on state waters this year to 13 people – one shy of the 14 who died in 2010, the statistics show.

This year marks the second straight year of increasing boating deaths after falling from 2010 to 2013. The state has recorded 20 or more deaths twice in the past decade – 20 in 2005 and 21 in 2009, according to the Coast Guard.

The statistics include anyone killed in an incident involving a moving boat, such as a passenger who drowns after a vessel capsizes or a swimmer hit by a craft, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

The department monitors boating deaths in Kentucky and also performs safety checks. More than 170,000 motor boats were registered in the state in 2014, the agency says.

-Kentucky had 46 boating accidents last year, up from 31 in 2013. The five-year high was 75 in 2010.

-Deaths were reported in 8 of the accidents.

-Across the U.S., more than 600 people were killed in boating accidents last year, up from 560 in 2013. The deadliest state was Florida, where 70 people died. 

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