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Coast Guard concerned about “surge” of drownings in Hampton Roads

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Portsmouth, Va. (WTKR)- The Coast Guard  is concerned about the number of drownings that have occurred so far this summer.

In the Coast Guard 5th District, which stretches from northern New Jersey to southern North Carolina, there have been 40 drownings this summer.

Of those 40, there have been 5 drownings in Hampton Roads.

Capt. Doug Cameron, 5th District response chief, says that is high for the summer, calling it a "local surge."

Of the 40 drownings, 34 have involved people who weren't wearing life jackets.

"It should be as automatic as a seat belt. When you get in a car you put a seat belt on. If you get on a boat, you ought to put a life jacket on. Coast Guard does, we always wear them. We've got young trained, fit people and they always wear a life jacket," Capt. Cameron told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Wednesday.