Here we are in the middle of a really hot summer. Cruising around on a boat sounds great, right? We’d like to remind you that whether you’re the captain or a passenger, everyone on board is responsible being aware of a few safety rules. Our friends at the Insurance Information Institute have provided a great list of boating safety tips.
There are thousands of recreational boating accidents per year, which can be costly in injuries and damages. Contributing factors to boating disasters include traveling too fast for water or weather conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to follow boating rules and regulations, carelessness and inexperience.
The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80 percent of boating fatality victims. Accidents can, and do happen with terrifying speed on the water. There's rarely time to reach stowed life jackets.
The best way to ensure your years of accident- and claims-free experience is to follow boating safety practices.
Properly equip your vessel
Get the required navigation lights and with a whistle, horn or bell. Have on hand plenty life jackets and emergency safety devices such as a paddle or oars, a first-aid kit, a supply of fresh water, a tool kit and spare parts, a flashlight, flares and a radio. Carry one or more fire extinguishers, matched to the size and type of boat and keep them readily accessible and in condition for immediate use.
Before you sail or launch
Check weather forecasts before heading out to ensure good boating conditions. Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Check engine, fuel, electrical and steering systems, especially for exhaust-system leaks.
When you have passengers and/or a load
Pay attention when loading. Distribute the load evenly and don't overload. In a small boat, warn passengers not to stand up or shift weight suddenly. Don’t permit riding on the bow, seat backs or gunwales. Make sure that every person on board the boat gets and wears a life jacket.
Know and obey marine traffic laws
Learn distress signals and other boating signals. Knowing a few simple rules will help you stay safe on the water. Since there are so many different types of boats, boating activities and styles of boating, it is important to know what to expect when you come upon another vessel and what your obligations are. The Navigation Rules are published by the U.S. Government Printing Office and are available in any boating supply store.
In shallow waters
Keep an alert lookout for other watercraft, swimmers, floating debris and shallow waters.
Don't operate the boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Or allow anyone who might be impaired to operate the vessel.
Why file a plan? There are just too many facts that need to be accurately remembered and ultimately conveyed in an emergency situation. Without a float plan you are counting on someone else, a friend, neighbor, or family member to remember detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you. Information that can make a difference in the outcome. For a Floating Plan form from the U.S. Coast Guard, click here.
Dean and Draper
Have a great time on the water. When you want more information about insurance, we’re only a phone call away.
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The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.
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