We see too many claims that could have been avoided by improving the skills of the operator.
To see what we mean, try answering these quick quiz questions:
1. What is the safest thing to do for someone suspected of having hypothermia?
a. Give them a warm alcoholic beverage
b. Massage the body to circulate blood
c. Get immediate medical attention
d. Apply hot towels to the head to thin the blood
2. How does alcohol use affect boat operators or passengers?
a. Physical reactions become slower
b. Depth perception becomes sharper
c. Reasoning ability becomes quicker
d. Balance and sense of direction improve
3. Which of the following is considered a safe refueling practice?
a. Closing all hatches and doors while refueling
b. Turning your key on to operate the fuel gauge
c. Sending all passengers below while refueling
d. Using the hands-free automatic shutoff to avoid spills
4. U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that a 14-foot powerboat carry which of the following items between sunset and sunrise?
a. Power horn and bell
b. Garbage placards
c. Navigation lights
d. Navigation handbook
5. Which of the following is a requirement for life jackets?
a. They must be properly sized for the intended wearer
b. They must be stored safely in a watertight bag
c. They must provide miles-per-hour impact
d. They must be orange or other highly visible color
6. Which of the following is recommended when docking with wind and the current?
a. Whenever possible, approach the dock with the wind and the current
b. Have your fenders and dock lines ready before you approach the dock
c. Have crew positioned to physically fend off the dock
d. Prepare two dock lines; any more than that will get tangled
U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that in accidents that involve injuries or fatalities, the majority of operators had no formal boating education. By contrast, only 6% of fatalities involved operators who had taken a state-approved online boating safety course. Do the math and you'll see why taking a course can make you a safer boater.
Answers: 1: C, 2: A, 3: A, 4: C, 5: A, 6: B