Operating a boat takes focus and something else you may take for granted: visibility. When fog rolls in, the risk for an accident increases since your visibility is limited. If several boats are in the same area and you can only see a few feet ahead, there’s a higher chance of crashing into another vessel on the water. In fact, many boaters would rather deal with windy conditions than fog.
In large, open areas, you may be able to see a fog bank approaching. However, you may not know how quickly it will reach your vessel. But rather than panicking, trying to outrun the fog or quickly heading for shore, try some of these safer actions to prepare for the impending reduction in visibility.
- Keep a close eye on your position using GPS. This allows you to see if you’re drifting too close to shore.
- Maintain a slow, safe speed so you’re prepared to stop within your distance of visibility.
- Listen to the Coast Guard broadcast via VHF radio to learn more about the fog conditions.
- If there’s time, anchor your boat and wait out the fog.
- Ask passengers to keep watch for signs of danger and listen for any unusual sounds. There may be trouble that you can assist with.
- If you witness or get into trouble, sound a signal as required by Coast Guard Rule 35.
Though not an everyday occurrence, every avid boater is likely to experience foggy conditions on occasion. The key is to be prepared and know what to do to keep yourself, your passengers and your vessel safe. However, if damages do occur, your boat insurance policy can come in handy and protect you from resulting financial loss.
We’ll help keep you safe on the water. Call Casey Insurance Group at (888) 537-1412 for more information on boat insurance.