In 2019, the Coast Guard counted 4,958 accidents that involved 726 deaths, 2,813injuries, and approximately $42 million dollars of damage to property because of recreational boating accidents. Where cause of death was known, 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 85% were not wearing a lifejacket. Source U.S. Coast Guard
Watercraft insurance policies can cover damage to your boat, motor, trailer, and personal effects in the boat. Available coverage includes liability, medical payments, coverage for injury to a water skier, and damage to the boat itself, sometimes called hull coverage. Availability varies by state and by insurance company. Even though boat insurance premiums are low, shopping your rate can sometimes save a substantial amount.
Watercraft Safety Tips
• Did you know that the majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets? Make sure that your family and friends aren’t part of this statistic by assigning and fitting each member of your onboard team with a life jacket prior to departure. Wear it!
• Have operable boat lights. Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
• Always check local weather conditions before departure; TV and radio forecasts can be a good source of information.
• Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales, seatbacks, or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop, or start could cause a fall overboard.
• Know your boat's capacity and how to properly load it. An overloaded or improperly loaded boat can cause safety problems.
• Have a working marine radio on board at all times and know how to use it.
• Ventilate after fueling. Open the hatches, run the blower, and check for fuel fumes before starting the engine.
• Be a safer boater! Take the Online Boating Safety Course - all of the information is free. Click here to check it out.
• Infants and young children are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm.