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MOSCOW, September 29 (Itar-Tass) — The number of registered boats and yachts has reached almost 1.5 million in Russia, deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry's state inspection for small vessels Nikolai Kryuchek told a press conference on Thursday.
Nearly one million boats were registered in 2005, including about 600,000 motorboats. The number rose 50 percent in five years. There are more than 1.4 million at present, and the number may reach 1.5 mln by the end of this year, he said, noting that up to 200,000 are registered in the country every year.
The quality of boats preferred by Russians has also improved, he noted. People buy impressive vessels that require much knowledge and skills to operate, Kryuchek noted.
Poor experience of operation of luxurious yachts and motorboats often cause accidents, as it was in the summer of last year in the Krasnogorsk district near Moscow, where two vessels collided. Those were high-speed and powerful vessels, and both skippers wanted to show skills, but they had almost no operating experience.
Nevertheless, though a series of accidents with deaths were reported, the Emergencies Ministry noted that the number of accidents and the death toll considerably decreased in the past five years.
A total of 280 accidents with about 500 deaths were reported in 2005, and the number was reduced over the past five years, the official noted.
Thirty accidents with small vessels were reported in Russia in the past nine months. Last year, the number was 35 for the same period. However, this year as compared with last year, the number of deaths rose from 24 to 30.
According to the official, the requirements for skippers are toughened.