Boat Safety All Summer Long

Red life jacket on boat

A day out on the lakes surrounding Michigan can be some of your best. However, it is always important to be prepared for any emergencies that may happen on the water. We know that you always make sure to have the appropriate number of life jackets on your boat, before taking out for the day. But, do you know what to do if someone actually falls overboard?

How To Rescue A Passenger That Is Overboard

When someone falls off your boat, it can be an extremely dangerous and scary situation. E&Y Insurance Agency wants to make sure you’re prepared on what to do when a passenger is overboard.

  1. Stop the boat – As soon as you realize that a passenger is overboard, you need to stop your boat, in order to avoid hurting them any further.
  2. Deploy a floatation device – Hopefully the passenger was wearing a life jacket, but if they weren’t, throw a floatation device in their direction for them to stay afloat.
  3. Turn the boat around – As soon as you have assessed that the situation is safe for you to return back to the passenger, do so. Try and come towards them from downwind, as it is safer and faster in water conditions.
  4. Use a lifeline to help them up – When you are close enough to help the passenger back up, make sure to throw them a lifeline to either bring them back onto the boat, or guide them to a ladder. 

Avoid These “Boater Rescue” Myths

Television shows and movies have trained us to think heroically when boating accidents occur. However, there are many examples of what not to do when you need to rescue a passenger that has fallen overboard.

  1. Do NOT jump into the water after them – Your initial reaction for saving a passenger that has fallen overboard should not be to jump in right after them, especially if the boat is still moving. You may not be able to see water conditions directly from your deck, and could also be putting yourself in great danger. The more people who are in the water unannounced, the more will need to be rescued.
  2. Do NOT just scream for help – Experienced boaters know that certain calls and cries for help are more important than others. If you need assistance your way, scream out “mayday” three times, and then “man overboard” onto a VHF radio. Next, provide a description of your location, and repeat as many times as necessary. If you are able to help the passenger that has fallen overboard before someone has come to the scene, make sure to get back on the VHF radio and cancel the assistance.

We hope that your next lake venture doesn’t lead to any dangerous instances, but just in case, E&Y Insurance Agency has you prepared. Want to make sure that you’re extra protected on the water? Give us a call today and ask about boat insurance! (248) 362-1313


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