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.