It’s summer, it’s hot, and for many people that means one glorious thing: It’s boating season! From sea to shining sea and on lakes and rivers across our great nation, friends, families, couples, and individuals are enjoying as much time on the water as they can. Unfortunately, every year there are cautionary news reports describing boating outings that ended tragically. As imperative as it is to protect your pride and joy with a comprehensive Boat Insurance Policy, it’s equally important to protect yourself and your passengers by heeding the following boating safety tips.
Be Weather Wise
Before setting out for any boating excursion, assess weather conditions. When in doubt, wait it out or delay your trip. No day of fun is worth risking your or your passengers’ safety. Keep a weather radio in your boat and monitor it regularly.
Designate A Co-skipper
You’re the captain of your boat, but there should always be someone else on board who knows how to operate the boat and safety equipment in case you are hurt or incapacitated.
Leave an Itinerary with Folks on Land
Before you venture out for a day of fun on the water, make sure a friend, relative, or marina employee knows where you are heading and when you expect to return. Make sure your boat is equipped with two-way communications equipment and that marina personnel know how to reach you on that equipment.
Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents (followed by operator inexperience or inattention, machinery failure, and excessive speed.) As the skipper, refrain from consuming alcohol and encourage your designated co-skipper to do the same.
Pack Safety Gear
Make sure your boat is equipped with one well-fitting life vest for each passenger. Also stock a first-aid kit, fresh water, tool kit, nautical map, and flares in case of emergency.
As a boat owner, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to summer fun. As the saying goes, with great privilege comes great responsibility. As the captain of your “ship,” you’re ultimately responsible for ensuring that you’ve taken steps to ensure a safe day on the water. Make sure you’ve outfitted your boat with safety equipment, laid down ground rules and hold all passengers responsible for following them, and use common sense and follow the rules of the water. For your boating insurance, contact us at Mariners General Insurance Group, 800-992-4443. We are marine insurance specialists.