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Brush Up On Your Southwest Florida Boating Safety

Sep, 03
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Before ever driving a truck or car you were taught rules of the road and how to drive safely.


Most of us took driver’s education as a class. Often times the same does not seem to apply for boaters and it really should. Before taking a boat out on the water here are some things to consider for your own safety and that of others around you.

Before you got behind the wheel of a car, you learned how to drive it and how to stay safe. The same goes for a boat. You should know how to operate the boat in a safe manner before ever taking it out on the water. Here are some points to consider:

  • Learn the rules of the sea (take a boating class): Instructional classes can teach you the safety rules of how to properly operate a boat. This includes how to launch and dock safely, what different signs mean, safe operation, emergency plans, and give you a confidence you likely did not have before.


  • Make sure you can swim: If you plan on being out on the water. You need to know how to swim even if you never plan on getting off the boat. Should an incident occur and you end up in the water you need the skill on top of a life vest.


  • Stock the vessel: Do the rounds. Make double sure that you have working fire extinguishers, drinking water, enough fuel for your planned trip plus some if possible, have an emergency locator beacon registered to the boat, make sure that the battery is charged, lights work, and that you have an air horn on board.


  • What’s the weather report? Especially in Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita, Sanibel, Captiva, Naples, and Marco Island areas you need to check the weather first and if you are already out on the water and notice dark clouds forming, realize that it can be unpredictable. Being caught out on open water in a small boat can lead to trouble so stay in the know.


  • Life Jackets are mandated: By law you are required to have one life jacket per person on your vessel. The majority of those who drown were not wearing their life jacket. If you hit bad weather, are a fall risk, or fearful of the water, it is important not just to have them on board, but to wear them.


  • Tell someone your float plan: this is a detailed plan that describes your boat, the passenger list, and where you will be traveling on certain days. Upon filling one out, give the plan to someone who will know if you do not come home by your return date.


  • Advice for pets: Keeping your pet safe and comfortable is just as important as any guest. Bring plenty of cool water, make sure they have shade, let them relieve use the rest room (grass) before boarding, protect their feet since animals absorb heat through the pads of the feet, and have pet life jackets for them in the event that they will need to swim for a long period.


  • Have more than one person who knows how to operate a boat on board. Just in case of emergency where you are unable to operate the boat . Stay away from alcohol so that you are always coherent and capable of operating the boat safely.


Common sense prevails. Always pay attention to signs, other boaters, keep a slow pace in no wake zones, and be a courteous boater. Make sure that you always have updated and proper boating insurance before heading out onto the waves. You will be glad you did in the event of theft or an accident. Centennial Insurance Services are experts in boater’s insurance. Let us take a look at your current policy or put together a new policy for you.

Call us today at 239-247-5125 or fill out a free quote form online. We look forward to hearing from you! www.cisinsfl.com.