Lightning Crashes: Is Your Boat in Danger During a Storm?

As the summer season begins to wind down, storm season is about to pick up all across the US. And with the warm weather lingering, there’s a good chance that you—or your boat—could be caught out in a lightning storm. Do you know what to do when lightning strikes? When it comes to protecting your boat from the elements, preparation is key. And in addition to investing in comprehensive boat insurance, we recommend staying on top of regular maintenance and safety preparation for your boat.

Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to protect your passengers, your boat and other assets whenever lightning strikes on the water.

Essential Boat Safety Tips to Remember During a Lightning Storm

While it’s impossible to make your boat “lightning proof,” you can try to make a lightning strike less devastating. One of the best ways to make your boat safer during storm season is to set up a bonding system. The binding process involves electrically joining all of the underwater metal fittings on your boat together. This can help to direct the path of lightning away from yourself and your passengers, as well as major components of your boat—decreasing the overall damage of the strike. Because of the way lightning moves, it is very difficult to predict the lath that it will take. But a bonding system is designed to hopefully send the strike towards the main conductor to a copper or non-corrosive metal plate.

If you find yourself stuck out on the water in a thunderstorm and you have a boat cabin, seek shelter there. Close all the windows to prevent water from filling up the cabin. If your boat doesn’t have a clear place to seek shelter, try to remain as low as possible in the central area of the boat. Everyone on board should have a life jacket and remember not to touch anything metal or any electrical components. When you’re stuck out in the water during a violent storm, aim the bow of the boat into the waves at a 45-degree angle to avoid being overtaken by rough or high waters.

After the storm, it’s important to check that everyone is safe. If there are any injuries, call for an ambulance and be sure to file an accident report with the proper authorities. Next, check your boat for damages and take pictures of anything that you find. From there, you’ll need to call your insurance provider to file a claim.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.