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ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Top Ten Recreational Boating Tips

  ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Top Ten Recreational Boating
  Tips

Business Wire

PHILADELPHIA -- July 2, 2013

Recreational boating activity soars during warm weather months, and so do
boating accidents and injuries. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s “Boating
Statistics 2012,”^1 the most recent year available, there are more than 12
million registered recreational boats in the United States. With so many
boaters enjoying the waterways, it is no surprise that more than 4,500 boating
accidents, involving nearly 6,000 vessels, were reported in 2012, with far
more that go unreported each year. The number of actual boating accidents
decreased by 73 from 2011, and overall fatalities decreased significantly, by
14.1 percent to 651 in 2012. While certainly a favorable trend, approximately
3,000 people still required medical treatment beyond first aid as a result of
boating accidents. In addition, the total property damage in 2012 from
reported accidents was approximately $38 million.

Though the statistics are concerning, the risk of boating injuries and
accidents can be minimized. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the vast
majority of reported incidents involved factors that were within the control
of boat operators. ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, one of the nation’s
largest recreational marine insurance providers, and part of the ACE Group,
has again released its top ten list detailing tips to help recreational
boaters stay safe, thus potentially reducing the number of preventable
accidents that may occur each year.

“Since nearly half of all fatal accidents occur over the summer months,
there’s no question that taking steps to promote boating safety, especially
when waterways are most crowded, can potentially have a significant impact on
saving lives. Safe boating should be the aim of all boaters and comes from
active participation in ongoing education and training, as well as hands-on
boating experience. Understanding and obeying navigational rules and safety
procedures has proven to help reduce injuries and property damage,” said Damon
R. Hostetter, Senior Vice President, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance.

       ACE Recreational Marine Top Ten Recreational Boating Safety Tips

1.Always wear a life jacket and insist that your crew and guests do the
    same. Approximately 71 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned
    in 2012.^1 Almost 85 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life
    jacket, and seven out of every ten boaters who drowned were on vessels
    less than 21 feet in length. Always have an adequate supply of life
    jackets aboard, no matter what the length of your vessel. Make sure that
    children are wearing appropriate life jackets that are sized and fitted
    correctly. Drowning was the reported cause of death for approximately 42
    percent of the children under the age of 13 who perished in boating
    accidents in 2012. In cold water areas, life jackets are even more
    important. A fall into water colder than 60 degrees (Fahrenheit) can
    induce “cold shock” – a sudden gasping for air that can increase the risk
    of drowning, especially in older people.
2.Never drink alcohol while boating. Alcohol use was again the leading
    factor in all fatal boating accidents, and in 2012 contributed to 17
    percent of recreational boating deaths. ^ 1 Stay sharp on the water by
    leaving the alcohol on dry land.
3.Take a boating safety course. Only fourteen percent of deaths occurred on
    boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.^1 You
    may even qualify for a reduced insurance rate if you complete a safety
    course. Contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power
    Squadron chapter,^2 or visit www.uscgboating.org for information on
    courses in your area.
4.Stay in control by taking charge of your safety and that of your
    passengers. Boaters between the ages of 36 and 55 accounted for the
    highest rate of boating fatalities (35 percent) and accidents (27 percent)
    in 2012.^1 It is imperative to maintain control of your vessel and your
    passengers. Don’t forget that safety begins with you.
5.Understand and obey boating safety recommendations and navigational rules.
    Imagine the mayhem that would result if car drivers disregarded highway
    traffic laws. In 2012, violations of navigation rules were contributing
    factors in 290 accidents and 13 deaths. Know and understand boating safety
    procedures and rules of navigation before taking to the water, and
    practice them without fail.
6.Operate at a safe speed and always maintain a proper lookout. Operator
    inattention, operator inexperience, machinery failure, excess speed and
    improper outlook were major factors in all reported accidents.^1 Know your
    boat’s limitations as well as your own. Take note of visibility, traffic
    density and the proximity of navigation hazards like shoals, rocks or
    floating objects. Don’t invite a collision by going faster than is
    prudent.
7.Check the weather forecast. A calm day can quickly turn ugly on the water.
    Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and stay on top of the
    forecast while boating. There were 221 accidents and 43 deaths in 2012
    attributed to adverse weather conditions. Promptly heed all weather and
    storm advisories.
8.Always carry an emergency position locator, especially when boating in
    cold waters. Hypothermia is a significant risk factor for injury or even
    death while boating. Cold water accelerates the onset and progression of
    hypothermia since body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than
    in cold air. The closer you are to rescue support, the better your chances
    are. Therefore, an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or Global
    Positioning System interfaced Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
    (EPIRB/GPIRB), and/or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), is recommended
    especially when boating in waters that are below 59ºF. These safety
    devices should be considered when boating in waters of any temperature.
    Boaters can be at risk of hypothermia in warm waters as well, where
    expected time of survival can be as little as two hours in waters as warm
    as 60-70ºF. To learn hypothermia risk factors and how to better your
    chances of survival, visit:
    http://seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/hypothermia.
9.Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Carbon Monoxide can harm and even
    kill you inside or on the deck of your boat. All internal combustion
    engines emit carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless, colorless, poisonous
    gas that can make you sick in seconds and kill in minutes. Even just a few
    breaths in high enough concentrations can be fatal. Carbon Monoxide
    symptoms are similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication, and can
    affect you whether you are underway, moored or anchored. Remember, you
    cannot see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, so know the symptoms of carbon
    monoxide poisoning and avoid extended use of the transom area when engines
    are operating. To learn more about the symptoms of carbon monoxide
    sickness and how to keep you and others safe, visit
    www.uscgboating.org/safety/carbon_monoxide.aspx.
10.File a float plan. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you always tell a
    friend or family member where you plan to go and when you’ll be back. Make
    it a habit before leaving on any boat trip. The proper officials can be
    notified promptly if you don’t return when expected.

According to Mr. Hostetter, educated recreational boaters can result in
greater boating responsibility while on the water. “Another important
preparation is to have reliable and comprehensive insurance in place. Few
people would drive a car without adequate insurance, yet countless
recreational boaters take this risk,” he noted.

Boat owners can insure for physical damage coverage to repair or replace the
boat if it’s damaged or destroyed by a myriad of causes including running
aground, fire, theft, lightning, or windstorm. Covered items include the boat,
motors and trailer and other equipment normally required for the operation,
navigation or maintenance of the watercraft. Boat owners may be unaware that
liability insurance can provide important coverage including obligations to
pay for bodily injury, property damage and pollution as a result of the
ownership, operation or maintenance of the watercraft. They can also protect
themselves and their passengers by purchasing insurance that will cover
medical expenses that become necessary due to bodily injury while the person
is boarding, aboard, off-loading or being towed behind the watercraft. Boat
owners can also insure against the loss of personal property and the costs of
towing and emergency assistance.

Another point to consider is that boat owners can also have their vessel
checked for safety—for free. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power
Squadrons offer Vessel Safety Checks at no cost. In addition, their staff will
check your boat’s equipment and provide information about its use, safety
procedures and applicable regulations. Since unsafe boats are a threat to all
recreational boaters, it’s important for boat owners to make sure their vessel
is as safe as possible. For more information, visit the U.S. Coast Guard web
site at http://www.uscgboating.org/fedreqs/default.html.

In addition to the boating safety tips above, ACE also offers free preparation
guides including, “Hurricanes and Severe Storms” and “Hurricane Preparation
Tips for Boaters,” which include detailed recommendations and tips for the
owners of trailerable and non-trailerable boats to undertake prior, during and
after a storm. Please visit our website to download these safety brochures, by
selecting the “Customer Resources” link under “Recreational Marine Products &
Services” on the homepage, clicking on the “Boating Safety and Loss Prevention
Tips” link, and then choose the brochure by title.

ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of the ACE Private Risk Services
business of the ACE Group, has been serving marine clients for more than 200
years, since 1792 when its predecessor company wrote the very first marine
insurance policy issued in the United States. ACE offers exceptional all-risk
insurance coverage to protect the entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and
boats, including classic boats, luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport
fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, high performance vessels and
select charter vessels. Product highlights are summaries only; please see
actual policy for terms and conditions. Products may not be available in all
states. Insurance policies issued by ACE Recreational Marine Insurance are
underwritten by the insurance companies of ACE USA

About ACE Private Risk Services

ACE Private Risk Services is the ACE Group’s high-net-worth personal insurance
business, which provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile,
recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for
financially successful individuals and families. Policies issued by Bankers
Standard Insurance Co. and ACE Insurance Co. of the Midwest. Additional
information can be found at: www.aceprs.com. The ACE Group is one of the
world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in
53 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty
insurance, personal accident supplemental health insurance, reinsurance, and
life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company
of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is
a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found at:
www.acegroup.com.

^1 http://www.uscgboating.org/statistics/accident_statistics.aspx

^2 United States Power Squadron. www.usps.org

Contact:

The ACE Group
Carla L. Ferrara, 212-827-4744
Carla.ferrara@acegroup.com
 
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