Smart Boating Safety Tips
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Get your boat inspected. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">If you're not sure your boat is safe, get a </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:16px;">Vessel Safety Check</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;"> (VSC). A VSC is a free examination of your boat courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to verify the presence and condition of all required safety equipment.</span></div>
<div>The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Hunters and fishermen boating during colder-weather months should remember that cold water can kill.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>If you can't swim, take lessons. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Even a few rudimentary lessons could someday mean the difference between life and drowning.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>If your boat capsizes, stay with it. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Not only will it provide floatation assistance, but it's easier for rescuers to spot.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Don't drink and boat. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">The use of alcohol is involved in about a third of all </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:16px;">recreational boating fatalities</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;"> according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Boating under the influence (BUI or BWI) is as serious a legal offense as driving while intoxicated.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Know the rules.</b></span></div><div><a href=""><span style="font-size:16px;">Before launching your boat</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;">, learn the nautical “rules of the road” by taking a boater safety class. They are a large part of boating safety, especially when meeting, crossing, or overtaking another boat. Learning the meaning of buoys and other water markers, maintain a safe speed, and keep a watchful eye on the waters for smooth sailing.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Take a boating safety course. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Boating safety courses are quick, inexpensive, and effective. Check the </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:16px;">U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;"> for approved boating courses.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Have a float plan. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">If you're going to be on the water for a couple hours, make sure someone on land knows where you're going and when you plan to return. If you're heading out for a longer stretch, leave a written float plan with the marina or a friend that can aid rescuers in case of an emergency.</span> </div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Appoint an assistant skipper.</b> </span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Don't be the only person on your boat who knows how to operate the vessel and where the safety and first aid equipment is stored. Make sure someone else can get your boat back to shore if you can't.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Check the weather. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Consult local forecasts before heading out, especially </span><a href=""><span style="font-size:16px;">during hurricane season</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;">. If you do run into dark clouds, increasing winds, or sudden extreme temperature drops while on the water, head back to shore. If you do get caught in a storm, put the PFDs on and keep everyone low in the boat.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;"><b>Have communication options. </b></span></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Bring a mobile phone sealed in a water resistant bag, but don't rely on it completely. Ideally, you should have a VHF marine radio with DCS (Digital-Coded Squelch) that can give the Coast Guard your position in an emergency.</span></div>
<div><b><span style="font-size:16px;">Operating Safety:</span></b></div><ul><li><span style="font-size:16px;">· Take a boating safety course. </span></li><li><span style="font-size:16px;">· Bring U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets for each passenger. </span></li><li><span style="font-size:16px;">· Don’t boat under the influence. </span></li><li><span style="font-size:16px;">· Designate a boat skipper who also knows how to operate the boat. </span></li><li><span style="font-size:16px;">· Perform routine safety and maintenance inspections for your boat. </span></li></ul>

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