TPG 6 30 blog

The Prewitt Group BoatingNow that summer is officially here, many of us are looking forward to spending time on the water. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2022 there were 5000 recreational boating accidents causing $63 million in property damage.

The U.S. Coast Guard and our partners at CHUBB outline several boating safety tips that we encourage you to review before pulling away from the dock. 

  1. Life Jackets: Make sure everyone onboard has a properly fitting life jacket and that they wear it. No matter how skilled you are at swimming, not wearing a life jacket can be detrimental especially if there is an emergency.  Life jackets help you float, keep your head above water and can protect against hypothermia should you be involved in a boating accident. In addition, you will want to make sure that you are using the right life jacket for the size boat you are on as well as have a throwable flotation device.
  2. Avoid Alcohol:  Just as drinking and driving is dangerous so is drinking and boating. Sixteen percent of boating fatalities are caused by boaters who are under the influence, and nearly 40 percent of boating accidents are caused by those who have been drinking. Alcohol impairs your judgment. Staying alert while driving a boat is critical to your safety. 
  3. Boating Safety Courses:  Check your local area for a boating safety course. Navigating a boat is different from driving a car. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron and others, sponsor many courses, and many state boating agencies also provide classes. You can receive a National Boating Safety Certificate by taking one of these courses. 
  4. Cell Phones: Distracted boating is increasing because more and more drivers are texting or looking at their phones. Please put down your cell phone while driving and keep your eyes on your surroundings.
  5. Check the Weather Forecast: While on the water, it’s a good idea to keep a check on the weather forecast. A pop-up storm can unexpectedly occur. Also, have and review your boating storm safety plan and be ready to act. Make sure you have a workable radio onboard so you can use it in case of an emergency.
  6. Carbon Monoxide:  Internal engines emit carbon monoxide, so you will want to be sure you have a detector onboard and that you are aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is undetectable to the human senses but is deadly. The symptoms can be similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication.
  7. File a Float Plan: It is always encouraged to tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back when boating. If an emergency occurs, the Coast Guard or other officials will be able to find you.
  8. Free Boat Inspection: The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron offer Boat Safety Checks at no cost. Certified examiners can check your boat’s equipment and provide you with safety information before you go out on the water.

It’s also a good idea to review your boat’s policy and coverage with one of our trusted advisors before hitting the water this summer. We wish you a summer filled with safe and happy boating! 

TPG 5 31 blog

TPG 531With the sunny days of summer and rising temperatures comes that time of the year when more and more people get out and enjoy the water. Whether you just want to wade in the water, swim in a lake or pool or slip-slide in a water park, now is an excellent time to review how to stay safe. 

According to the CDC, 4000 people unintentionally drown every year for an average of 11 drowning deaths per day while 8000 people nearly drown for an average of 22 per day. 

The National Safety Council (NSC)  found that of the 3709 drownings in 2017, 12 percent were children aged four or younger. Seventy-four percent of drownings of children under 15 from 2015-2017 occurred in residential locations. 

While it’s extremely fun to be around the water, it also can be extremely dangerous. At The Prewitt Group, we want you and your family to remain safe in and around the water this summer. We offer these safety tips from the NSC:

  • Don’t go into the water unless you know how to swim. One of the best ways to remain safe is to learn how to swim. Swimming lessons are offered by a number of community organizations and at swimming schools.
  • Never swim alone. The buddy system is the best system.
  • Learn CPR and rescue techniques.
  • Swimming in lakes and rivers is much different than in pools. Lakes and rivers have currents. Make sure you are comfortable swimming in bodies of water with currents. In addition if you get caught in a current don’t panic; flow along with it or swim parallel to the shore until you can get free.
  • Don’t push or jump on others.
  • Don’t dive into unfamiliar areas.
  • Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Don’t drink alcohol and swim.
  • Never leave children alone in the water.
  • Never let children play around the drains or suction cups.

Have fun, enjoy all that the summer season offers, and most of all, stay mindful of safe practices!