Posted by: Mary Lewis | June 28, 2011

Top 10 Boating Safety Tips and Helpful information

Schools out, the weather has heated up, vacations have started and we’re off to the lake.  According to the US Coast Guard, there are close to 13 million registered recreational boats in the United States.  Last year, there were nearly 4,800 boating accidents reported.  This is a serious concern, but a vast majority of accidents involve factors that are controllable, including operator error and poor or improper boat maintenance.  Ace recreational marine insurance is pleased to offer a top ten list of tips to help boaters stay safe and reduce the number of preventable accidents that occur each year.

Top Ten Boating Safety Tips.

  1. Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the same. Approximately 75 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2009. Eight four percent were not wearing a personal floatation device.
  2. Never drink alcohol while boating. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents and the leading factor in all boating deaths.
  3. Operator errors account for 70% of boating accidents-take a boating safety course. Eighty six percent of all reported boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had not completed a boating safety course. You may even qualify for a reduced insurance rate if you complete a safety course.
  4. Stay in control by taking charge of your safety recommendations and navigational rules. Boaters between the ages of 36 and 55 accounted for the highest rate of accidents, injuries and fatalities. Don’t forget safety begins with you.
  5. Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational rules. Know and understand boating safety procedures and rules of navigation before taking to the water and practice them without fail.
  6. Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a careful lookout. Overall, operator inattention, operator inexperience, excess speed and improper lookout were the leading contributors in all reported accidents. Know your boats limitations as well as your own.
  7. Check the weather forecast. Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and stay on top of the forecast while boating. Promptly heed all weather and storm advisories.
  8. Hyperthermia  is a significant risk factor for injury and even death while boating. Cold water accelerates the onset and progression of hypothermia since body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. The closer you are to rescue support the better your chances are, therefore and Emergency Positions Indicating Radio Beacon or Global Positioning System is recommended especially when boating in waters that are below 59 degrees.
  9. Use a carbon monoxide (CO)detector. CO can harm and even kill you inside or on the deck of your boat. All internal combustion engines emit carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can make you sick in seconds and kill in minutes. Remember you cannot see, smell or taste CO so know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and avoid extended use of the transom area when engines are operating. To learn more visit:
  10. File a boat plan. The US Coastguard recommends that you always tell a friend or family member where you plan to go and when you’ll be back. Make it a habit before leaving on any boat trip.


Happy Summer and Happy Safe Boating!

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