Danger! Florida Boating Accidents are the Highest in the Nation
Use the 4 Tips Below to Protect Yourself and Your Family
It’s not the news Floridians like being known for. Year after year, Florida ranks as the deadliest state for recreational boating. According to The US Coast Guard, In 2019, there were 679 boating accidents in Florida, and 62 deaths.
Many Florida Residents were gifted a new boat for the holidays, or they treated themselves to a boat, promising hours of fun on the beautiful waters of our sunny state. And they’re itching to get out and celebrate!
We get it, and we don’t blame you one bit.
But before you head out to bask in the warm rays and turquoise waters, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect yourself and any passengers on your vessel.
Changing the staggering statistics above can only happen when each Florida boater arms themselves with awareness and education on boater safety, and they don’t operate a boat while intoxicated. By taking the right precautions, you can prevent tragedy.
Here’s are 4 Must Do’s to Prevent Florida Boating Accidents:
- Take a boating safety course. The US Coast Guard reported that 70% of boating accidents occurred on boats where the operator did not receive proper safety instruction. It’s also Florida law that anyone born after January 1,1988, must have taken an approved boating safety course to operate a motorboat of 10 horsepower or more, and have a boating ID card from the FWC. If you were born before the above date, it’s still a smart idea to take a boating safety course.
- Find out what US Coast Guard requirements are for your vessel and make sure you’re stocked with lifesaving supplies before you head out on your boat. Not only could it save your life, but it’s the law. You’re required to have one life jacket for each person on board, a throwable floatation device, a working (not expired) fire extinguisher, and many other items you’ll be thankful for if you get into an accident on the water. Review this Florida boat safety checklist here.
- Don’t drink while operating a boat. Florida boating accidents are often caused by recreational boaters operating vessels while intoxicated. Florida is a popular place for vacations, fun, and recreation—but sadly, The Sunshine State is also known for leading the nation in alcohol-related boating accidents. Many times, what starts as a fun day on the water ends up with fatal consequences when overconsumption of alcohol is involved. If you’re planning to head out and explore while enjoying fun times with friends and family—be responsible. Know your limits and never operate a boat while intoxicated. If you’re worried you might make the wrong decision, bring a friend along who knows how to operate your boat in case you’ve consumed too much alcohol.
- Before you head out, make sure your boat is in proper operating condition. Machinery failure is another large contributor to Florida boating accidents. Use this pre-departure Florida boat safety checklist to prepare yourself.
If you own a boat or plan on renting one in the future, you’ll be thankful you took the time to review the tips above. Boating should be all about fun and good memories, not preventable tragedies.
Bonus tip: even though you’re not required to get Florida boating insurance, it’s still a good idea to insure your boat in case you ever do get into a boating accident.
Galezano Insurance will help you find quality Florida boating insurance at a competitive price.
Talk to a Florida boating insurance agent today.
We’ll help you stay safe and secure when you’re out on the water!