Friday, July 28, 2017

What To Do During & After A Boating Accident | Nautical Gift Ideas For The Boater In Your Life

It's summer time and for some people, it’s synonymous with boating season. Recreational boating can be fun, as you can do several activities in various places of the water. You can go fishing in the deepest area of the lake, dock in some city to do some shopping or go to a good spot and go swimming. As good as it may seem having a vessel out in the water can be dangerous if come unprepared.

According to the United States Coast Guard report, 4,158 accidents were reported in 2015 which resulted in 2,618 injuries. The total damage reaches to a staggering estimated amount about  $41 million. In all of those boating accidents, motorboats are the most common comprising 45%; personal watercraft is about 19% and cabin motorboats 17%.    

When you are involved in an accident it's a terrifying experience. Boating accidents almost doubled the danger being out in the open water. There are big chances of injury, damage to the boat, capsizing and drowning. However, there are several things that you can do to prevent more injuries, wherein the slightest decision can save lives.

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When accident strikes, put on life jackets first

As soon as an accident happens, think safety first. Even if there are no threats of capsizing put a life jacket first and make sure everyone does. You might thing donning a life jacket is just a waste of time or you don’t need one, put it on anyway. It does not matter if you are a good swimmer. Remember, you might be miles away from shore and have to stay afloat for several hours battling with the current and waves. A life jacket can save your lives keeping you afloat before rescue arrives.

While the vessel is still afloat, check if someone needs medical attention.

Check if everyone is okay, if not give them first aid while waiting for rescuers. It would be helpful to place everyone in a common room to avoid any further accidents. If anyone has fallen overboard, get them out of the water carefully and attend to their injuries if any.

Move your boat out of incoming vessels.

If the boat still has some motor power, move it out of incoming vessels to avoid collisions and contact the Coast Guard immediately.  Cell phone signals are not that reliable on seas, so it is best to have a marine VHF radio on-board the boat.

70% of deaths in boating accidents are from drowning, according to the US Coast Guard. If the boat has broken in half and not enough life vests for everyone look for floating debris. Clinging to floating objects can prevent someone from drowning while you call for help.

Call the Coast Guard as soon as possible.

After checking that everyone is safe, call the Coast Guard immediately. Tell them about the emergency, your location and the physical description of your boat.  Giving them all this information can help them what to expect and bring necessary tools to save lives.

Also, while waiting for rescuers, get help as much as you can. Passing vessels can help you in these dire circumstances. Make yourself visible can really help in attracting attentions of nearby vessels.

Have a medical practitioner check your well-being.

When rescuers arrive, and everything is under control have yourself check. Even if you did not receive any injuries from the accident, have a medical practitioner to assess you better.

After a boating accident

Once everything seems under control and everyone is safe. There are certain things that also need immediate attention. You might need to fully document the incident. Here are the things you need to fill out:
•    Name of vessel

•    Names of the passengers including their addresses and telephone/cell phone numbers.

•    Names of eyewitnesses either from another vessel or from the shore who can attest to the incident.

•    Registration number or the vessel identification number.

•    Name of the insurance company for the vessel.

•    Insurance policy number.

When everything is settled file a report with the Coast Guard.

For worst case scenarios, like someone was injured, required medical attention and dies, you need to file a formal report. This is particularly true if someone disappears from the vessel which may indicate injury or death. Under federal regulations, you need to file a report with Coast Guard.


Depending on the state where you live, you may need to file about the boating accident with the appropriate state agency.

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Inform Insurance Carrier

Lastly, you need to notify your insurance carrier as soon as you can. Provide them with necessary documents or any reference numbers. Filling about the incident with the Coast Guard and other state agencies can help you a lot. You may also need to fill out any other forms.


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