|[July 20, 2012]
ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Top Ten Recreational Boating Tips
PHILADELPHIA --(Business Wire)--
Recreational boating activity soars during warm weather months, and so
do boating accidents and injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard's
"Boating Statistics 2011,"1 the most recent year available,
there are more than 12 million registered recreational boats in the
United States. With so many boaters enjoying the waterways, it is no
surprise that nearly 4,600 boating accidents were reported in 2011, with
far more that go unreported each year. While the number of actual
boating accidents decreased by 16 incidents since last year, overall
fatalities rose significantly. In 2011, overall boating fatalities rose
to 758, the highest number on record since 1998. Another key statistic
related to boating accidents is more than 3,040 people required medical
treatment beyond first aid. In addition, the total property damage in
2011 from reported accidents was approximately $52 million.
Though the statistics are alarming, the risk of boating injuries and
accidents can be minimized. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the vast
majority of reported incidents involved factors that were within the
control of boat operators. ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, one of the
nation's largest recreational marine insurance providers, and part of
the ACE Group, has again released its top ten list detailing tips to
help recreational boaters stay safe, thus potentially reducing the
number of preventable accidents that may occur each year.
"Since nearly half of all fatal accidents occur over the summer months,
there's no question that taking steps to promote boating safety,
especially when waterways are most crowded, can potentially have a
significant impact on saving lives. Safe boating should be the aim of
all boaters and comes from active participation in ongoing education and
training, as well as hands-on boating experience. Understanding and
obeying navigational rules and safety procedures has proven to help
reduce injuries and property damage," said Damon R. Hostetter, Senior
Vice President, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance.
ACE Recreational Marine Top Ten Recreational Boating Safety Tips
Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do
the same. Approximately 70 percent of fatal boating accident
victims drowned in 2011.1 Eighty-four percent of those who
drowned were not wearing a life jacket, and 8 out of every 10 boaters
who drowned were on vessels less than 21 feet in length. Always have
an adequate supply of life jackets aboard. Make sure that children are
wearing appropriate life jackets that fit correctly. Drowning was the
reported cause of death for approximately 60 percent of the children
under the age of 13 who perished in boating accidents in 2011. In cold
water areas, life jackets are even more important. A fall into water
colder than 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) can induce "cold shock" - a sudden
gasping for air that can increase the risk of drowning, especially in
Never drink alcohol while boating. Alcohol use was the leading
contributing factor of all fatal boating accidents in 2011. 1
Stay sharp on the water by leaving the alcohol on dry land.
Take a boating safety course. Only eleven percent of deaths
occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety
instruction.1 You may even qualify for a reduced insurance
rate if you complete a safety course. Contact your local Coast Guard
Auxiliary, United States Power Squadron chapter,2 or visit http://www.uscgboating.org/
for information on courses in your area.
Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your
passengers. Boaters between the ages of 36 and 55 comprise
approximately 30 percent of all the operators, and accounted for the
highest rate of accidents, injuries and boating fatalities in 2011.1
Don't forget that safety begins with you.
Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational
rules. Imagine the mayhem that would result if car drivers
disregarded highway traffic laws. Know and understand boating safety
procedures and rules of navigation before taking to the water, and
practice them without fail.
Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a proper lookout.
Overall, operator inattention, operator inexperience, excess speed and
improper outook were the leading contributing factors in all reported
accidents.1 Know your boat's limitations as well as your
own. Take note of visibility, traffic density and the proximity of
navigation hazards like shoals, rocks or floating objects. Don't
invite a collision by going faster than is prudent.
Check the weather forecast. A calm day can quickly turn ugly
on the water. Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions
and stay on top of the forecast while boating. Promptly heed
all weather and storm advisories.
Hypothermia is a significant risk factor for injury or even death
while boating. Cold water accelerates the onset and progression of
hypothermia since body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water
than in cold air. The closer you are to rescue support, the better
your chances are. Therefore, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio
Beacon or Global Positioning System interfaced Emergency Position
Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB/GPIRB), and/or a Personal Locator
Beacon (PLB), is recommended especially when boating in waters that
are below 59ºF. These safety devices should be considered when boating
in waters of any temperature. Boaters can be at risk of hypothermia in
warm waters as well, where expected time of survival can be as little
as two hours in waters as warm as 60 -70ºF. To learn hypothermia risk
factors and how to better your chances of survival, visit: http://seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/hypothermia.
Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Carbon Monoxide can harm and
even kill you inside or on the deck of your boat. All internal
combustion engines emit carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless,
colorless, poisonous gas that can make you sick in seconds and kill in
minutes. Even just a few breaths in high enough concentrations can be
fatal. Carbon Monoxide symptoms are similar to seasickness or alcohol
intoxication, and can affect you whether you are underway, moored or
anchored. Remember, you cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, so
know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and avoid extended use
of the transom area when engines are operating. To learn more about
the symptoms of carbon monoxide sickness and how to keep you and
others safe, visit www.uscgboating.org/safety/carbon_monoxide.aspx.
File a float plan. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you
always tell a friend or family member where you plan to go and when
you'll be back. Make it a habit before leaving on any boat trip. The
proper officials can be notified promptly if you don't return when
According to Mr. Hostetter, educated recreational boaters can result in
greater boating responsibility while on the water. "Another important
preparation is to have reliable and comprehensive insurance in place.
Few people would drive a car without adequate insurance, yet countless
recreational boaters take this risk," he noted.
Boat owners can insure for physical damage coverage to repair or replace
the boat if it's damaged or destroyed by a myriad of causes including
running aground, fire, theft, lightning, or windstorm. Covered items
include the boat, motors and trailer and other equipment normally
required for the operation, navigation or maintenance of the watercraft.
Boat owners may be unaware that liability insurance can provide
important coverage including obligations to pay for bodily injury,
property damage and pollution as a result of the ownership, operation or
maintenance of the watercraft. They can also protect themselves and
their passengers by purchasing insurance that will cover medical
expenses that become necessary due to bodily injury while the person is
boarding, aboard, off-loading or being towed behind the watercraft. Boat
owners can also insure against the loss of personal property and the
costs of towing and emergency assistance.
Another point to consider is that boat owners can also have their vessel
checked for safety-for free. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S.
Power Squadrons offer Vessel Safety Checks at no cost. In addition,
their staff will check your boat's equipment and provide information
about its use, safety procedures and applicable regulations. Since
unsafe boats are a threat to all recreational boaters, it's important
for boat owners to make sure their vessel is as safe as possible. For
more information, visit the U.S. Coast Guard web site at http://www.uscgboating.org/fedreqs/default.html.
In addition to the boating safety tips above, ACE also offers free
preparation guides including, "Hurricanes and Severe Storms" and
"Hurricane Preparation Tips for Boaters," which include detailed
recommendations and tips for the owners of trailerable and
non-trailerable boats to undertake prior, during and after a storm.
Please visit www.acemarineinsurance.com
to download these safety brochures, by selecting the "Customer
Resources" link under "Recreational Marine Products & Services" on the
homepage, clicking on the "Boating Safety and Loss Prevention Tips"
link, and then choose the brochure by title.
ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of the ACE Private Risk Services
business of the ACE Group, has been serving marine clients for more than
200 years, since 1792 when its predecessor company wrote the very first
marine insurance policy issued in the United States. ACE offers
exceptional all-risk insurance coverage to protect the entire spectrum
of pleasure yachts and boats, including classic boats, luxury
mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal
watercraft, high performance vessels and select charter vessels. Product
highlights are summaries only; please see actual policy for terms and
conditions. Products may not be available in all states. Insurance
policies issued by ACE Recreational Marine are underwritten by the
insurance companies of ACE USA that are rated* A+ (Superior) by A.M.
Best Company and AA- (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor's. * Company
ratings as of July 1, 2012.
About ACE Private Risk Services
ACE Private Risk Services is the ACE Group's high-net-worth personal
insurance business, which provides specialty coverage for homeowners,
automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections
insurance for individuals and families with emerging and established
wealth. Policies are issued by Bankers Standard Insurance Co. and ACE
Insurance Co. of the Midwest. Additional information can be found at: www.aceprs.com.
The ACE Group is one of the world's largest multiline property and
casualty insurers. With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides
commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal
accident supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance
to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of the
ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a
component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.
Courtesy of the United States Coast Guard
2 United States Power Squadron.www.usps.org
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