Owning a boat is a serious responsibility. Even careful, experienced boaters can have boating accidents, which is all the more reason for having proper insurance for California boats. Safety begins by performing routine maintenance. You should check over your boat carefully each season before heading out on the water. In addition, go over a checklist to make sure that everything is accounted for and well stocked and that the emergency radio system or GPS are functional before you’re out on the open seas. Ensure that you have everything you need in your first aid kits and all emergency equipment is working properly.
Alcohol and boating is a bad combination
No one in charge of the yacht or boat should ever be under the influence of alcohol (or drugs). Not only is drinking and boating illegal, but in 2014, there were 108 fatalities out of the 277 recreational boating accidents reported where the primary cause was cited as alcohol. Just as you should never drink and drive, you need to stay sober and alert when you’re in charge of a boat or other vessels on the water. It’s simply not worth risking your life or the lives of others.
In order to minimize the risk of people falling overboard, or capsizing, make sure people sit safely on board and wear life preservers. More than 50% of boating fatalities are the result of passengers falling overboard or vessels capsizing. Check to make sure that passengers are seated safely before accelerating, and avoid making sharp turns. Watch your speed, as excessive speed is one of the top five causes of boating accidents in the US. Also, keep an eye on weather conditions – if you see a storm forming or the water starts to get a bit rougher, it might be a good idea to head for shore.
Life jackets can save lives
Life jackets are only useful to passengers who fall overboard if they’re wearing them at the time. It’s important to have enough life jackets for all passengers, and everyone should be required to wear a life jacket when the boat is in motion. It’s essential that children age 13 and under have life jackets on whenever the boat is moving. Make sure that your boating excursion ends on a happy note. Having insurance for California boats can help you to do just that.