Florida is the perfect place to find adventure on the water. We’ve lived here for 28 years and we haven’t met many people who don’t enjoy this popular pastime. Practicing safe boating is easy with a little planning. We encourage you to educate and re-familiarize yourself on safe boating and water-related activities each year.
1. Always wear a lifejacket: Almost three-fourths of all fatal boating accidents, the cause of death is drowning. In *88% of those drowning’s, the person wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Further, the U.S. Coast Guard requires that all recreational boats carry one Coast Guard-Approved life jacket for each passenger.
2. Be weather conscious: Always check the weather before going out on a boat to see how the weather conditions may change throughout the day. Storms and changes in weather can increase the likelihood of an accident or becoming trapped on the water.
3. Maintain safe speed: Always operate your boat at a safe speed and stay aware of other boats traveling in the same area to avoid accidents.
4. Designate a back-up navigator: It is important for someone other than the driver to become familiar with the controls on a boat. Especially in Florida, high temperatures can cause dizziness, heatstroke, and dehydration. Always be prepared for a situation where the driver may not be able to continue controlling the boat for any reason.
5. Regular boat maintenance: Regularly evaluate your boating equipment to prevent unexpected breakdowns and repairs.
6. No Alcohol: The U.S. Coast Guard attributes a third of fatalities on the water as a result of intoxicated persons operating a boat.
It only takes one boating accident to see the importance of practicing safe boating. For unavoidable circumstances we also want to remind you to carry valid boat insurance, know your coverage, and update the policy regularly.
Fahs Insurance is happy to help you assess your boat coverage or find the best options for you if you are new to boating. Together we can help Southwest Florida residents feel prepared for boating on the water this season.