The weather is warming up and New England is finally ready to swing into summer. That means that more and more folks will be putting their watercrafts in the water, especially with Memorial Day – the unofficial first day of Summer in New England – just around the corner. However, just like driving a car or motorcycle, operating a boat can be dangerous if not done properly. Time on the water is fun, but boating safety is serious business.
National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27, 2022, and is meant to spread safety awareness to those who will be operating boats this summer season. While boating is meant to be fun and gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy activities and quality time on the water, it’s extremely important to keep these safety tips in mind to prevent any injuries.
Never Operate A Boat Under The Influence
According to the National Safe Boating Council, boating under the influence is the cause of one third of all recreational boating fatalities. If you do imbibe on your trip, make sure you designate a skipper to keep everyone aboard safe.
Have Enough Life Jackets For Everyone On Board
Your boat should always have enough life jackets for everyone, including children, who need smaller life jackets than adults. Make sure everyone wears them, as a stowed life jacket will not be of much help in an emergency.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
Even if you are paying attention to what is happening around you on the water, other boaters may not be. Make sure you’re always on the lookout for possible safety hazards. It’s also good to have a travel route planned in advance, and you should always operate the boat at safe speeds, obeying local boating speed zones.
Check The Weather
If you’re planning an outing, it’s important to check the weather for the day and continue to check it throughout the day. The last thing you want to do is get caught in a bad storm on the water.
Always Inspect Your Boat Prior To Leaving The Dock
Inspecting your boat prior to departure can help you discover any issues the boat may have that could create safety hazards on the water. During these inspections, make sure you have enough gas for the whole day and confirm that the engine is running correctly. You can also schedule a free vessel safety check with the local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons to make sure your boat is in tip-top shape.
Keep In Touch With Someone On Land
Bring along cell phones to communicate in case of an emergency, and have more than one communication device that can still operate when wet. Emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and VHF radios can all be crucial if an emergency arises and you have no cell phone signal or your phone has been damaged by water.
Turn Off The Engine
Be sure to turn the engine off before any exits from your boat. Leaving the engine on while people are leaving the boat can cause severe injuries. Always use the engine cut-off device on your boat. Utilizing this device is not only essential to your safety, it’s also the law.
Make Sure To Have Boat Insurance
Just like a car or motorcycle, your vehicle – in this case, a boat – must be insured and operated by someone experienced. Boat insurance can cover things like the hull of the craft, personal property on board that’s lost in the event of an accident, protection and indemnity, and you may even be able to add on things like fuel spill liability. Your insurance will cover a specific area of operation, such as New England, and that area is identified in your policy. FBinsure offers coverage options for your boat so you have one less thing to worry about while cruising on the water this summer.
For coverage options on your watercraft, call your local FBinsure office today. Check out our social media pages for more helpful tips and fun blogs.