As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so implementing proper foresight and planning is key to avoiding boating accidents. Know the rules of the “road,” check the weather before you head out and always remain aware of your surroundings.
A boat accident can be scary, but you want to try to stay calm. If you are in a boating accident, first things first, so cut the engine and assess the situation. Is everyone safe? Do you need assistance? You can mobilize the nearest emergency responders by dialing 911 on your cell or using your VHF radio to place a distress call on channel 16.
If another boat is involved, information including make and model, vessel registration or ID#, insurance company and contact information should be exchanged. You should also take photos and note the time and place of your accident and any eyewitnesses.
Obviously, missing persons and fatalities need to be immediately reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, but serious injuries are also required to be reported within 48 hours. When you are safely ashore, you should notify your insurance company to schedule an inspection and any necessary repairs. Destroyed vessels or property damage exceeding $2,000 are required to be reported within 10 days.
Boating accidents are often caused by lack of experience or inclement weather, but they can also occur due to mechanical failure, so make certain you keep your vessel in optimal condition. For help with boat maintenance, you can always turn to Gerry’s Marina in New Smyrna Beach, which is full-service and offers exceptional service and parts departments, as well as an onsite Yamaha Master Mechanic.