139 South 3rd Street, Suite A, Coshocton, Ohio, 43812

4 Boat Safety Tips

As the boating season approaches it’s important to remember some boat safety basics, so you enjoy smooth sailing this summer. 

1. Watch out for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Your boat engine produces carbon monoxide, which is a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas. When you’re out on the lake, you have no idea it could be affecting your safety. 
Usually, carbon monoxide is dispersed in the air, so it is not a concern. However, the wind can carry your boat exhaust fumes back at you and your passengers. Additionally, hanging around the back of the boat when the engine is idling is another way to be overexposed. Be sure to avoid these scenarios! 

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

If you or a fellow passenger have any of these symptoms you might be suffering from carbon monoxide overexposure:

  • Light headedness
  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Nausea

If someone is experiencing these symptoms, move them to open fresh air and turn off the boat engine. If they don’t feel better and/or others start to exhibit similar symptoms, get help. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

2. Beware of Boat Fires

When you’re out on a boat, you’re probably not concerned with fire safety, especially since you’re surround by water! However, water shouldn’t be used to stop chemical or electrical fires, which are the two most common causes of boat fires.

Boat Fire Safety Tips

So, what’s the best way to put out a fire on a boat? Make sure you have a U.S. Coast Guard approved marine type B fire extinguisher on board. It’s required by law to have one! As your boat size increases, the amount  and/or size of fire extinguishers goes up.

Fire Extinguisher Tips

  • Keep it readily accessible
  • Make sure you know how to use it correctly

What Should I Do if there is a Boat Fire?

Here are a few steps you should take if you experience a boat fire:

  • Stop your engine
  • Check everyone on board is wearing a life jacket
  • Where possible, make sure your boat is downwind
  • Use your fire extinguisher

If the extinguisher isn’t working, radio for help ASAP, then prepare to abandon ship.

3. Make a Float Plan

A lot of people don’t think about writing a float plan before they take off on their boat, but it is an easy way to ensure people can find you in the event something happens on the water.

What is a Float Plan?

It’s simply a note stating:

  • Where you’re boating
  • How long you’ll be gone
  • Your planned return time
  • A contact number

Leave this information with a trusted contact, so they know where to find you in the event you’re missing (or at least someone thinks you’re missing). When you arrive safely back to shore, give your contact a call to let them know! It seems simple, but a float plan can help avoid confusion and stress. In the event of an actual emergency, search parties can find you more quickly too.

4. Pre-boating Checklist

Before you leave the dock, take a few minutes to double check the following:

  • Are there enough life jackets for all passengers
  • Is the gas tank full
  • What’s the weather forecast say
  • Do you have water and sunblock
  • Is your radio working correctly in case you have an emergency 
  • Are your navigation lights and horn working correctly
  • Do all passengers know where the first aid kit, fire extinguisher and emergency flares are kept

Taking a few extra minutes before you leave to complete this checklist ensures you’re better prepared for a day out on the lake or ocean.

These are just a few boat safety tips we hope help prepare you for a fun and safe boating season.

A boat is an important and enjoyable investment. Don’t forget to keep it safe with quality boat insurance. At Ianniello Agency, we can help you identify the appropriate coverage for your boat. Give us a call today to discuss your insurance needs.

About Ianniello Insurance Agency

Ianniello Insurance Agency is Northeast Ohio’s premier provider of auto insurance, life insurance, home insurance, agribusiness insurance, farm insurance, business insurance and health insurance. You can count on our personalized service to meet your needs. We take our time to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage. We proudly serve Coshocton, Holmes, and Tuscarawas Counties. Get in touch today for a quote and follow us on Facebook to stay in touch!

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