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What are the Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents?

What are the Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents?

Sometimes, accidents just happen, and you can’t do anything about them. That’s why it’s best to be aware and ready: know what kind of accidents are out there and subsequently prepare for them. If you’re not attentive, someone can get hurt or worse. As a boat operator or a passenger, you’re going to want to prep yourself as much as possible; being prepared can make a world of a difference when it’s needed.

Each year thousands are affected by boating accidents, with 658 fatalities just last year. By taking certain steps, you can make sure that almost every boat outing is a safe outing, making your Newport Beach Boat Insurance just a safety net. Here’s the most common causes of boating accidents, and how you can stay safe.

The Most Common Boating Issues

You could be having a great day until something happens while out on the water. Things can turn tragic quick with certain situations. Things that can happen out on the water include a person falling overboard, the boat capsizing or catching fire, the engine failing, the vessel hitting another object or boat and running aground. While not every accident can be avoided, dangerous or negligent behavior often puts everyone on the boat at risk. The most common causes of boating accidents are:

  • Alcohol or drug use from either the boat operator or passengers
  • Excessive speed
  • Failure to vent
  • Hazardous waters
  • Adverse weather conditions
  • An inexperienced or inattentive boat operator
  • Improper lookout (someone should always be looking out for buoys, other boats, swimmers or debris in the water)
  • Sharp turns
  • An overloaded boat
  • Restricted vision
  • Inadequate or zero navigation lights
  • Failure to wear life jackets
  • Breaking navigation rules

When you’re operating a boat, it’s key to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Not everyone can see you, so don’t assume that they can. Once the boat operator is aware of their responsibilities, make sure that the passengers are aware of proper safety measures. This is especially important if they’ve never been on a boat before.

How to Stay Safe

It’s good to adhere to safe boating practices. This way, some emergencies can be properly attended to (or hopefully they won’t happen at all). Here’s some safe ways to travel by boat:

  1. Wear a life jacket
  2. Learn to swim
  3. Take a boating course
  4. Know the navigation rules
  5. Ensure your boat  is properly maintained
  6. Get a free vessel safety check
  7. Create a pre-departure safety list
  8. Make a float plan
  9. Don’t overload the boat
  10. Watch the weather
  11. Avoid alcohol and drugs
  12. Protect people from the propeller
  13. Keep emergency radios turned on at all times

As a final note, before you even step onto the boat, you should make sure that you have a Newport Beach Boat Insurance policy in place that will keep you and your passengers covered in the event of a harmful or expensive accident.


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.