As a resident of Florida, you may have already heard of the recent boating accident in December 2013 that claimed the lives of a former high school basketball coach and two young women in Northern Florida. While the cause of the boating accident was ruled accidental, reports indicate that all three victims were intoxicated when the crash occurred. This incident is one example of an accident that might have been prevented.
While purchasing a Winter Park Boat Insurance policy will protect you financially should you incur any damage while boating, or have a passenger who is injured on your boat, it’s important to follow basic safety procedures to try to avoid injuries in the first place. Alcohol use is just one example of what should be avoided to make your boating trip safer. Alcohol’s effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, and vibration.
Listed below are some more safety tips to follow when boating.
Use and Maintain the Right Safety Equipment.
- Have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person onboard and one approved throwable device for any boat 16 feet and longer.
- Have an easily accessible fire extinguisher on board.
- Have operable boat lights, and always test them before the boat leaves the dock. Be sure to carry extra batteries as well.
- Know what specific safety equipment you need for your vessel. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission lists the minimum required safety equipment for all recreational vessels here.
Be Weather Wise.
- It doesn’t matter what season it is; keep a close eye on the weather and bring a radio. Sudden wind shift, lightning flashes, and choppy water call can mean a storm is brewing. If bad weather is approaching, get off the water early to avoid a long waiting line at the dock in inclement weather.
Always Be Prepared.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
- Open all hatches and run the blower after you refuel and before getting underway. Sniff for fumes before starting the engine. If you do smell fumes, don’t start the engine.
- Check the boat landing for any local regulations that apply, as well as any federal regulations that may be in place.
These are just a few ways to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your passengers while boating. It’s also vital that you follow whatever navigation rules there are in your area while on the water, and know the proper weight limits on your vessel as to not overload the boat.
A Winter Park Boat Insurance Policy is just one of the many Winter Park Personal Insurance products we carry at Newman Crane. We understand that an adverse event out on the water can result in enormous medical costs, expensive boat repairs, and even possible litigation. Newman Crane has you covered! Please contact us today at (407) 859-3691 for more information.