From Lifejackets to Carbon Monoxide Detectors: ACE Recreational Marine Insurance Announces Top Ten Recreational Boating Tips

  From Lifejackets to Carbon Monoxide Detectors: ACE Recreational Marine
  Insurance Announces Top Ten Recreational Boating Tips

Purchasing Insurance from a Marine Specialist Offers Protection to Boat Owners

Business Wire

PHILADELPHIA -- July 28, 2014

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 2013,”^1 the most recent year available, there were nearly 12
million registered recreational boats in the United States. With so many
boaters enjoying the waterways, it is no surprise that more than 4,000 boating
accidents, involving more than 5,400 vessels, were reported in 2013, with far
more accidents that go unreported each year. In addition, more than 2,600
people required medical treatment beyond first aid and 560 died as a result of
boating accidents. The total property damage in 2013 from reported accidents
increased to approximately $39 million.

Though the statistics are alarming, 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. To help reduce the number of preventable accidents this boating
season, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, one of the nation’s largest
recreational marine insurance providers, and part of ACE Group, has released
an updated list of the top ten tips to help recreational boaters stay safe.

“As you would expect, most boating fatalities occur when the waterways are
most crowded with recreational boaters - more than 70 percent occurred between
May and September,” said Damon R. Hostetter, Senior Vice President, ACE
Recreational Marine Insurance. “That so many of these accidents are
preventable only compounds the tragedy. Safe boating should be the aim of all
boaters and comes from ongoing education and training, as well as hands-on
boating experience. Understanding and obeying navigational rules and safety
procedures have proven to help reduce injuries and property damage,” said Mr.
Hostetter.

       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 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned
    in 2013.^1 Almost 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life
    jacket, and 8 out of every 10 boaters who drowned were on vessels less
    than 21 feet in length. Always have an adequate supply of life jackets
    aboard. Make sure that children are wearing appropriate life jackets that
    fit correctly. Drowning was the reported cause of death for approximately
    36 percent of the children under the age of 13 who perished in boating
    accidents in 2013. In cold water areas, life jackets are even more
    important. 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. 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 - 70°F. To learn hypothermia risk factors and how to better
    your chances of survival, visit:
    http://www.seagrant.umn.edu/coastal_communities/hypothermia.
2.Never drink alcohol while boating. Alcohol use was again the leading
    factor in all fatal boating accidents, and in 2013 contributed to 75
    fatalities, 16 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 13 percent of deaths occurred on boats
    where the operator had received boating safety instruction from a provider
    offering a course that meets U.S. Coast Guard-recognized national
    standards.^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 http://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 percentage of boating fatalities (38%) and injuries (39%) more
    than any age group in 2013.^1 With nearly 5,500 vessels involved in
    accidents last year, 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 2013, violations of navigation rules were contributing
    factors in more than 200 accidents and 15 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. Overall,
    operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excess
    speed and machinery failure were the top five primary contributing 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.
    There were 40 deaths in 2013 attributed to adverse weather conditions.
    Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and stay on top of the
    forecast while boating. Promptly heed all weather and storm advisories.
8.Register for a free MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) Number, and
    have a VHF radio equipped with Digital Selective Calling (DSC). When in
    coastal and inshore waters, these preparations can help take the search
    out of search and rescue. DCS allows the VHF radio to transfer information
    digitally, not just by voice, and to instantly send a digital distress
    alert to the Coast Guard upon activation of the emergency button. Part of
    that alert is the MMSI number, similar to a phone number for your boat,
    which will identify your vessel automatically; without one, the digital
    distress functions on a DSC-equipped VHF radio will not function.
    DSC-equipped radios also need to be interfaced with a GPS when they are
    installed so your exact position can be relayed to rescuers when an
    emergency message is sent in a distress situation. If you go offshore,
    always carry an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or Global
    Positioning System interfaced with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio
    Beacon (EPIRB/GPIRB), and/or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). To register
    for an MMSI and learn more about the Global Maritime Distress and Safety
    System (GMDSS), visit: http://www.usps.org/php/mmsi/home.php.
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, a poisonous gas that can make you sick in
    seconds and kill in minutes, even with just a few breaths. 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 how to protect those onboard from exposure to carbon
    monoxide, visit  http://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 and prepared recreational boaters can
result in greater overall boating safety. “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. 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.

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. 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 offers other free
preparation guides and information on a wide range of safety and loss
prevention topics. Please visit www.acemarineinsurance.com to download these
safety brochures, by selecting “Pleasure Boats and Yachts” on the homepage,
and clicking on the “Safety and Loss Prevention Tips” link in the “Boater
Learning Center” section.

ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of ACE Private Risk Services, has been
serving marine clients for more than 200 years, since 1792 when its
predecessor company wrote its first marine insurance policy 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
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.

Any summary of information or available coverages is intended as general
information and is not intended to amend, alter or modify the actual terms,
limits or conditions contained in any policy of insurance or its declarations.
Exclusions and limitations may apply to some losses. Coverage may not be
available in all states. Coverage is governed solely by the terms and
conditions of the policy itself. Insurance buyers should consult their agent,
broker or other insurance professional if they have questions about their
insurance needs.

ACE Private Risk Services is the high net worth personal insurance business of
ACE Group, and provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile,
recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for
financially successful individuals and families. ACE Group is one of the
world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in
54 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 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, or follow ACE on Twitter https://twitter.com/ACE_GroupNA.

^1 http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/AssetManager/2013RecBoatingStats.pdf
"Courtesy of the United States Coast Guard

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

Contact:

ACE North America Communications
Carla Ferrara, 215-640-4744
carla.ferrara@acegroup.com
 
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