Safety Tips for Winter Boating Enthusiasts

The cold weather is no excuse to let your recreational watercraft sit in storage. with a little planning, you can still enjoy your favorite boating activities in the Virginia Beach, VA area. These tips from Armor Insurance Group will help you keep yourself, your passengers, and your boat safe while on the water in the winter months.

  • Use a float plan. In the simplest terms, a float plan is a document letting others know where you’re going and when you expect to return. If you fail to return at the designated time, emergency efforts can be mobilized to find you. You can contact a trusted friend or relative, leave the information with dock attendants, or contact the local Coast Guard office.
  • Check your safety equipment before leaving. Safety vests, flotation devices, and other essential safety equipment should be checked for condition and usability before you begin your trip. Make sure you know how to operate each piece. Flares, radio equipment, and first aid kits should be examined also, especially if it has been a while since you’ve been on the water.
  • Know the 1-10-1 rule. When someone falls into the water, it is vital that they control their breathing within the first minute to prevent drowning. The next ten minutes gives you the best chance of moving on your own before the cold water starts to freeze interior muscles. It takes one hour of exposure to cold before hypothermia sets in. At that point, the victim may become unconscious.
  • Stock clothing for the winter weather. Even if the air is warm, it’s likely that the water may be near freezing. Encourage those on the boat to dress warmly. Keep a stockpile of blankets and dry, warm clothing in case someone falls so you can quickly heat them up while you seek help.

It’s also important to keep your boat insurance documents handy while you’re on your trip. Your coverage may include clauses that help you pay for medical care and other damage related to winter boating. Talk to the experts at Armor Insurance Group for more information on customizing your Virginia Beach, VA boat insurance.