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What are the most common causes of boating incidents?

A boating accident can lead to devastating property damage and injury. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety, there are various causes of severe casualties on the water.

Knowing the common incidents can help boaters prepare.

Boat fires

While spark-protected mechanical systems and double-clamped fuel lines protect boats from fires, it does not minimize all risks. Fuel spills and leaks tend to cause many boat fires. Always check for fuel fumes from the bilge and any oil slick on the water. Before starting the engine, all drivers should run the bilge blower for about five minutes. Boats without extinguishers on board take the risk of not putting out the fire. Make sure all extinguishers have ratings for electrical and fuel fires.

Mechanical failure

Serious accidents tend to occur because of electrical troubles. Faulty batteries do not start the motor and the boat lights will cease to work. If the boat breaks down at night, it can make the vessel practically invisible. Those who do not check their flooded-cell battery regularly may be in danger of a breakdown. Check the fluid level and only use distilled water when necessary. Always keep an eye on the battery voltage because batteries should never have less than 12 volts.

Drinking and speeding

Like motor vehicle accidents, speeding while on a boat can cause horrific accidents. The most common accidents while speeding occurs at night. Generally, drivers do not match the speed with the conditions and trust that they have a clear path. In doing so, they may cause an accident with your boat.

Additionally, those who drink on a boat may not take it as seriously as they do on land. Alcohol still slows the reflexes and causes accidents.

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