Often, boating accidents could have been prevented with just a few simple precautions. Safeco Insurance has prepared a quick list of tips to remember when hitting the water this season.
Don’t let an accident wreck your fun!
Life Preservers Aren’t Just for Kids. It’s not enough to just have life jackets on board — wear them! In an accident, people rarely have time to reach for a life jacket. This rule applies to adults, not just children: Life vests have come a long way in style. Today, you can even get vests for your water-loving dog!
Watch the Back of the Boat. Avoid dangers of carbon monoxide. So tell your passengers where your exhaust pipes are located and turn off your engine when people are in the water, and don't let passengers "ski" or “teak-surf” by holding on to the back of the boat. Both Washington and Oregon made teak-surfing illegal in the last few years. Carbon monoxide detectors are standard on most new boats; older boats install devices for less than $100.
Alcohol and Boating Don't Mix. More than 50 percent of drowning’s result from boating incidents involving alcohol. You don’t drink and drive, so don’t boat and drive.
Boats Need TLC Too. When you're out on the water, make sure your gas tanks are vented and bilges are free of vapors, oil, waste and grease. Carry a charged fire extinguisher. Have your boat's operating systems checked yearly by a certified marine technician. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons also offer free vessel safety checks.
Experience Counts! The U.S. Coast Guard says that operator errors account for 70 percent of all boating accidents. Make sure anyone who drives your boat is properly trained. You can also earn boat insurance discounts from insurers if you complete a safety course with the Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.
Sites for Information:
- Coast Guard: www.uscgboating.org
- Boating Regulations in Washington State - State boat registration, boater safety education courses, Washington State water navigation, tide information and tips and law information: http://boat.wa.gov/regulations.asp
- Idaho Parks & Recreation Boating Information - Information about free boating safety classes, safety tips, state laws and online education: http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/boating
Our team at Kuespert Insurance, Panhandle Insurance and Argonne Insurance know boating safety. As registered boat owners and operators, and avid fisherman, many of our agents are familiar with the resources available to boaters in Idaho and Washington state. If you're having trouble finding information about boating in northern Idaho or eastern Washington, contact one of our boat insurance experts today.
- Ryan Hague - Boat Insurance Specialist at Kuespert Insurance in Moscow at 208-882-0610
- Paul Kuespert - Boat Insurance Specialist at Panhandle Insurance in Coeur d'Alene at 208-664-9223
- Stewart Kuespert - Boat Insurance Specialist at Argonne Insurance in Spokane Valley at 509-921-6809