GEICO and BoatUS remind boaters not to let safety float away during Labor Day weekend

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 27, 2018 – Since Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times for being out on the water, boaters need to remember to stay extra alert when it comes to safety practices.

The BoatUS Foundation recommends boaters need to do a lot more than just brush up on boat knowledge, inspect gear and update charts at the beginning of the season and then forget about it.

Boaters should apply these tips throughout the season:

  • Avoid distractions: With increased traffic on the waterways, those at the helm need to maintain a proper lookout. Leave smartphones alone, and know when to tune out conversations on board. Ask another passenger to assist as a lookout.
  • Gear up on safety: Make sure everyone on board knows where to locate safety gear. Show passengers how to properly wear and inflate life jackets, depending on what type is on the boat, and keep the life jackets easily accessible for everyone.
  • Leave alcohol ashore: Alcohol's impairing effects on coordination can put a captain and passengers at risk of falling overboard. Operating a boat while drinking also could lead to a boating under the influence charge, which carries steep fines.
  • Remember the basics: Crowded waterways mean boaters must know their navigation rules. Review how to handle crossing and overtake situations, as well as what to do when meeting another boat head-on.
  • Test electronics: After a summer on the water, boat electronics can start to wear out. Test equipment like running lights before leaving the dock to make sure they will work at sundown.

For more boat safety information, visit BoatUS.org or GEICO More.

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