One of the most dangerous places to be in a lightning storm is in an open area where you are the highest object. That is exactly your situation when you're in a boat on the water. Lightning seeks the easiest path to the water and traveling through you and your boat is easier than going through the air next to you. A boat is much more likely to be struck than a person on land. What steps can you take to avoid getting struck? Follow these four lightning safety tips.
Don't Be on the Open Water
The best safety measure you can take is being out of harm's way. This means paying careful attention to weather forecasts before your outing on the water. The fact that lightning continues to strike recreational boaters every year despite access to weather forecasts says that many people are too casual with their planning.
Get to Shore Quickly
It's safer to head to shore and find shelter than to remain where you are. Going to the shore means you are reducing your exposure time to the lightning risk. In other words, the less time you stay out on open water, the less likely you are to get hit. After reaching the shore, find shelter in a building or in your car.
Get a Boat with a Cabin
If you do a lot of boating on large lakes or the ocean, your chances of getting caught in a lightning storm increase. A cabin gives you a measure of safety because lightning will primarily travel through the conductive paths around you when inside. Stay in the cabin's center and avoid touching metal parts of the boat, as well as objects directly exposed to lightning like a mast.
Don't Use Electronics or Electrical Gear
Turn off all electrical equipment including the radio, unless there's an emergency where you require help. Lower antennas and disconnect all power to electronics including interconnection cables.
Lightning is just one of many safety issues that you face when boating. This is why having good boat insurance is important. Contact your insurance agent if you aren't insured or haven't updated your policy in a while.
For more information about Florida marine insurance, give Casey Insurance Group a call at 888-537-1412 today!