Some parts of the country require boat owners to winterize their watercraft during colder seasons. But in some regions, boaters still rely on their vessels for transportation, fishing, or hunting. Though there are always safety liabilities with boating, there is an increased risk of deadly accidents when operating a boat in cold weather. Extra precautions and winter safety tips should be taken to protect yourself and your boat from injury or damage.
The Importance of OC Boater Safety Tips With Winter Boating
Regardless of how long you have been a boat owner, following OC boater safety tips are an essential part of a safe excursion during winter weather. There are several specific risks that you or your passengers face when venturing out in cold temperatures.
- Hypothermia: When the body temperature dips below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the risk of damage by hypothermia is a serious concern. Many people don’t consider this threat when heading out on the water, but the reality of water temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit is life-threatening in a man overboard situation. Life jackets may be able to reduce the risk of drowning, but hypothermia reduces survival rates to just a few minutes.
- Drowning: The water’s colder temperatures during winter months increase the risk of drowning, as shock sets in more quickly when an individual falls overboard. Even strong swimmers experience a natural gasp reflex that inadvertently inhales a tremendous amount of water. This is what makes wearing a life jacket a decision potentially between life or death.
The Watercraft Risks in Winter Boating
- Watercraft damage: In addition to the increased risk of life-threatening water temperatures on the human body, the air and water temperature has an impact on the ability of the boat to operate efficiently and error-free. In cold temperatures, batteries lose their ability to hold a charge, and icing can quickly create holes and deterioration. These pose serious risks for boat owners, as it increases the probability of an accident due to malfunction or the vessel taking on water.
- Winter storms: The damage that can occur to a boat during a winter storm is another danger of boating during the winter. Sleet, ice, snow, intense waves, and high winds can make the open water a dangerous place to be, with the risk of capsizing a heightened possibility. The conditions of the water can change instantly, creating a serious concern with winter boating safety.
The Risk Protections for Winter Boating
There is no doubt that boater safety tips must be acknowledged and followed if boaters are to avoid accidental drowning or freezing. Using your boat in the winter comes with an increased risk of accident potential because of malfunction or water conditions. Boaters must exercise more caution when preparing for an outing and do their due diligence with maintenance and upkeep.
About Mariners Insurance
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