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Keep safety afloat with boating tips

May 21-27 is National Safe Boating Week


National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27. Have fun and stay safe on the water with these boating tips.


Spring brings warm temperatures and sunny skies, and many of us take to the water for recreational boating. While spending time on the water can be one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, it can also be dangerous. In fact, in 2014 the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,064 accidents, including 610 deaths and 2,678 injuries, as a result of recreational boating accidents.

National Safe Boating Week is May 21-27. Take precautions and use these tips from the Safe Boating Council to make boating a fun – and safe – experience.

Before you get on the water:
Prepare your boat by scheduling a vessel safety check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.
-Know the latest marine weather forecast and dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
-File a float plan with someone you trust that includes details about the trip and emergency contacts.

When on the water:
Make sure everyone – even experienced swimmers – wears a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for the water activity.
-Follow navigation rules, such as maintaining a proper lookout and safe speed.
-Never boat under the influence. Alcohol is responsible for 21 percent of boating fatalities.
-Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, emergency position radio beacons, VHF radios and personal locator beacons can all contribute in an emergency.
-Don’t panic if you fall into the water. Stay afloat with the help of your life jacket, regain control of your breathing, keep your head above water in vision of rescuers, and stay with the boat if possible.

Enjoy your time on the water, knowing you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions. Also, remember to properly insure your boat to protect yourself and your property. Contact your local insurance agent for more information on coverages available for recreational boats.


About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 358th on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web:; Facebook:; Twitter: Google+