Live Proactively: Boating Safety
Whether you are an avid boater or fisherman, or a solid "landlubber", if you live in Western Washington, chances are that you are near a body of water once in a while. The Puget Sound, Lake Union, Lake Washington, the San Juan Islands - they all offer breathtaking views and glorious beaches to enjoy from land or from water.
Please be safe as you enjoy fun on and around the water this summer! We hope that the tips and links, below, will help! If you have any questions about Boat Insurance, please give the McClain Insurance Protection Team a call - we're here to help!
This site, hosted by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, is your one-stop boating information portal. Whether you're looking to buy a fishing license, need location inspiration for a day on the water, or weather and tidal updates - you'll find it here.
WA State Parks
Washington's State Parks offer water access galore. Whether you're looking for a lake, a river, and inlet or the ocean, our beautiful home state is sure to provide just the right location.
Visit the WA State Parks site for boat launches, safety tips, and boater education.
|US Coast Guard
Boating Safety Resource Center
Every year, hundreds of boating accidents and even deaths happen in Washington's waters. The US Coast Guard offers tips on Vessel Safety Checks, Paddling or Canoeing Safety, Float Plans and so much more. Please be safe out on the water!
Make Water Safety Fun with the Interactive Tools provided by Seattle Children's Hospital.
In addition, just in time for summer, download the Water Safety Activity Booklet here.
5 Tips for Safe Water Fun with Kids
Enjoy spring and summer on Washington's waters, lakes and beaches with these tips from McClain Insurance in Everett, WA:
1.Wear a well-fitting life jacket
Ensure that everybody on the boat wears a life jacket at all times. Adults, too! For children, be sure that the jacket is appropriate for the age, height and weight of the child and that it fits snugly so it won't slip over the child's head.
2. Open Water Swimming is not like Pool Swimming
A proficient pool-swimmer may still struggle in open water: Temperature variations, undertow, currents, and below-the-surface obstacles make open water swimming more difficult and unpredictable. Be aware and be prepared.
Don't forget that swimming with a life jacket can be cumbersome and restrictive. Practice floating in water.
3. Complete a Boating Safety Class
Knowledge is power and when it comes to boating, knowledge may save lives. Keep your loved ones safe by practicing good techniques.
4. Don't let A Child Operate a Boat or PWC without Special Training
Boats and especially, Personal Watercraft, are sized for adults and require a certain amount of physical strength and ability to operate. Don't allow your children to operate these vessels on their own.
5. Always have a "Water-Watcher"
Never allow children to play on or near the water without supervision. Drowning accidents can happen fast! Also, be sure to complete a CPR class and always have a cell phone with you when taking kids out on or near the water.
SafeKids is a helpful site founded in 1988 by the Children's National Medical Center. Around the world a child dies or is severely injured every 30 seconds. SafeKids is a worldwide projecy, geared especially to injury prevention and safety for families and children.
Click the image for more information on Boating and Water Safety, or visit SafeKids.org.
Enjoy the Washington Summer on the water safely with these Tips from McClain Insurance:
1. Schedule a Vessel Safety Checkup
Before the season starts, get a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary or the US Power Squadrons. Simply call in for an appointment, and leave with the good feeling of confidence in your boat and equipment.
2. Install a CO Detector
Carbon Monoxide is a harmful gas whose effects are similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication and very hard to detect before it is too late. In high concentration, even only a few breaths of CO can be fatal! CO doesn't only accumulate inside your boat, but can also linger near or around your boat, such as under canvas covers, trapped exhaust, exhaust from a passing vessel, or even stagnant exhaust at slow speeds or when stopped.
To prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning, know where CO can accumulate, and install and maintain CO Detectors in and around your boat.
3. Have Boat Insurance
Some boat owners may assume that their boat is covered under their homeowner's insurance policy. But the fact is that there is, depending on the contract, only very limited coverage for a boat on a homeowner's policy, and only a very limited number of boats would qualify for this coverage.
Similar to an auto insurance policy, boat insurance covers liability and property damage in case of an accident. Some perils covered on a boat policy may include:
- Damage to your boat and/or marine equipment.
- Pollution damage due to fuel spills after an accident.
- Liability incurred by your boat hitting another boat, dock or swimmer.
- Medical expenses for injury to you and passengers as a result of a boating accident.
- Injury caused by a negligent uninsured boater.
Note: Boat policies vary from company to company and from State to State. Not every boat policy will include every item above. Be sure to read your policy and check with your insurance agent for personalized information.
4. Take a Boating Safety Class
Did you know that over two thirds of boating accident are caused by operator error? The US Coast Guard Auxiliary offers a variety of Boating Safety classes. Don't forget to check out the Washington State Boating Education Program.
5. Take a Water Rescue or CPR Class
Visit your local Red Cross Chapter to find out more about CPR, Lifeguarding, and Water Safety Classes.
6. Wear a Life Jacket
Sun, heat, and the unrestricted feeling of wind and spray on skin are an essential part of what makes boating so enjoyable and are often used as a reason to NOT wear a life jacket. However, water accidents often happen so fast that there is no time to dig out that life vest from the stow area, or slip it over a person's head. In most fatal boating accidents, the victim did not wear a life jacket and in many, the victim could have survived.
Life jackets come in many styles and sizes, some of them as compact and lightweight as a scarf or fanny pack. Life jackets can save lives!
Have a well-fitted, age, weight and skill appropriate life jacket for every person on the boat, and wear a life jacket at all times while out boating.
7. Don't Drink and Boat.
Alcohol consumption in combination with the motion of the water, weather, and unpredicatbility of other boaters can make the effects of alcohol intoxication on the water even more severe than on land.
Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol (BUI) is illegal in all states. Be safe. Don't drink and boat.
8. Float Planning
Whether you're heading out in a speed boat or a canoe, whether you plan to be gone for an afternoon or a week - be sure to leave your projected route, destination and return time with a person of trust. Instruct them to notify the Coast Guard if you don't return as planned.
Download the USCG Float Plan template on the sidebar.
9. Paddling / Canoeing Safety
If you're planning to head out canoeing or paddling, know your tides, know your currents, wear your life jacket and most importantly: Know your limits! Keep enough strength to get yourself back home safely.
For more information, please visit the American Canoe Association's website.
10. Report Accidents
In case of an accident, boat owners and/or operators are required by law to file a report with the State Authority. If a person is injured beyond First Aid Treatment, a person disappears from the boat (indicating injury or death), if a person dies, or if property damage exceeding $2,000 or pollution occurs, the incident must be reported.
For more information on reporting boating accidents in Washington State, please click here.