It’s finally warm enough for boating season. While it can be a fun time had by all, are you also prepared to handle an emergency situation if one arises on the shore or out on open water?
This month we have three tips to help minimize damage to your boat and help keep your passengers safe in the event that something goes wrong on one of your adventures.
1. Have a Safety Preparedness Kit for Your Boat
At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure that your boat is stocked with safety equipment in good working condition before each outing. U.S. Coast Guard boating safety requirements include the following items:
- Working navigational lights
- Map/chart of the waters you are navigating
- Personal floatation devices (PFDs) for each passenger
- Flotation device that can be thrown into water (cushion, ring, etc.)
- Operational, fully charged fire extinguisher (charge it before you depart)
- First aid kit
- Paddle, especially on a small vessel
- Lines/ropes for being towed or pulled back to shore
- Signaling device (horn, mirror, portable light, etc.)
- Communication device to contact outside assistance, if necessary, such as a VHF radio (recommended) or cell phone
2. Develop a Preparedness Plan for your Boat
A boating emergency can happen anytime, anywhere — and does not only refer to a problem with your boat, but also to any dangerous situation involving one of your passengers. It is key to remain aware of your situation and assess your risk before leaving shore and during your trip:
- Monitor the weather before and during your outing
- Know the water temperature — this can help you determine how long you or your passengers can safely remain in the water while waiting for help or swimming to shore
- File a float plan with a friend, relative and/or the U.S. Coast Guard
- Be ready with a storm preparedness plan
3. Avoid Dangerous Boating Conditions
We don’t want to be a debbie downer but want you to be aware of some potential risks. While spending time near water or on a boat can be an enjoyable way to spend a summer day, some dangerous conditions can exist if you are not properly equipped and prepared to deal with them. Three avoidable causes of serious injury include:
- Being struck by a propeller
- Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning
Knowing what to do before and during your trip to help prevent an emergency, as well as being equipped to handle a situation should one occur, is key to making sure your boat and everyone on board returns to shore safely after every trip. Remember to follow safe boating practices at all times so you can enjoy all your boating adventures.
Contact us today if you need any help confirming that you have enough insurance coverage for all your personal needs.