Understand Boat Safety Before You Go Near the Water
Each summer millions of people hop aboard boats to participate in one of America’s favorite pastimes. But whether they’re on sailboats, powerboats or jet-skis, boating can present risks. In fact, in 2009, the most current data available, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,730 boating accidents and 736 deaths.
You can protect yourself by understanding some basic safety rules.
Many boating accidents are preventable. Just knowing the causes of common accidents can help you avoid them. 80 percent of boating accidents involve operator factors – the skipper may not be paying attention, is careless or reckless, is inexperienced, or is speeding.
Encompass Insurance recommends that boaters:
Take a boating education course. Encompass offers discounts to boaters who have successfully completed qualifying boating courses from groups such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and U.S. Power Squadron.
- Make wearing life jackets a rule. Most states require having a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board your boat for all passengers.
- Don’t mix drinking and boating.
- Know the weather and water conditions.
- File a float plan; give the information to a friend or relative who can call for help if you do not return as scheduled.
- Observe the nautical rules-of-the road including speed limits.
- Get a courtesy vessel safety check.
- Report emergencies via Channel 16 on a marine VHF-FM radio.
- Do not discharge oil, trash or sewage into the water.
- Properly insure the boat and make sure it has sufficient coverage.
The agents at Van Beurden Insurance are ready to service your boat insurance needs. Call today to make sure you have the proper coverage before you set sail!