With temperatures rising and summer right around the corner, boating season is fast approaching. Cruising around the lake on your boat or jet-ski is a popular activity for many people during the summer months, but the risks are often times over looked. These few tips can help protect you and your watercraft while still enjoying all the excitement of a hot summer day on the boat.
Take a boating safety course.
More than 7 out of every 10 boating accidents are caused by operator error. Educate yourself on the traffic rules of the water to prevent accidents.
– Starting the blower 2 minutes before starting the engine helps to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
– Always secure your anchor to the bow of boat, rather than the stern to avoid capsizing.
– In Michigan it is illegal to operate a watercraft without a boating safety certificate if you were born after December 31, 1978.
– Extra caution is required when towing skiers and tubers, familiarize yourself with the safety requirements for towing passengers.
Keep the proper safety equipment on board.
Make sure you are familiar with the U.S. Coast Guard minimum requirements for recreational boats. Items include…
– Life preservers; 1 personal floatation device per passenger and 1 throwable PFD
– Fire extinguisher
– Whistle or bell
Do not drink alcohol while operating a boat.
Alcohol is the number 1 cause for boat related fatalities. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by staying hydrated and drinking water instead.
Understand your watercraft coverage.
If an accident were to occur, it is important to understand exactly how your boat is insured.
– Homeowners insurance does not always cover your boat. Often only if your boat is non-motor powered and under $10,000 will homeowners cover it.
– When towing your boat, it is protected by your auto insurance policy.
– If theft or damage occurs to your boat while parked at home, it is covered by homeowners insurance.
– Be sure your policy covers where you are taking your boat. Most policies contain a navigational warranty.
Visit the Michigan boating laws handbook for additional information
Information from the CDC and bankrate.com