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Boating Safety Guide

How smooth is the sailing in America’s waters? According to the United States Coast Guard, there were almost 4,600 boating accidents in 2011, resulting in $52 million in property damage, 3,081 injuries, and more than 758 fatalities. Safety starts with planning, and this is true of boaters looking to chart a course to a safer boating season. “Boating is an exciting and relaxing way to spend an afternoon with family and friends, but it’s important to play it safe while you’re out there,” said Lindsay Cain Washington, Independent Property and Casualty Agent Cities Insurance Group. “By reviewing key safety precautions, you can reduce your exposure to boating danger and have a more enjoyable time on the water.”

To stay safe on the water this summer, Cities Insurance Group suggests the following:

Buckle up. Wearing a properly secured life jacket is one of the most effective ways to prevent accidental drowning, the number one cause of boating-related deaths. Check jackets annually for flotation and fit, especially for growing children. One size doesn’t fit all.Leave the “swimmies” by the pool. For safety purposes, some floatation devices don’t offer complete protection. Never use floatation devices, such as “swimmies,” in place of life jackets or life preservers on children. These toys are not intended to be personal flotation devices.Learn to swim. It’s never too late to learn this potentially lifesaving skill.

Swimming classes for adults and children are available in many communities.Make plans public. Inform someone staying on land about the details of a trip—the destination, the participants, and the planned length of time on the water.

Eliminate alcohol consumption. Half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. Just like being at the wheel of a car, if you’re at the helm of a boat, don’t drink.

For additional information in boating safety, visit, for a wealth of information on many subjects, including how to properly use your life jacket, conduct a vessel safety check, or even report any accident that may occur.

For additional information about boating safety, or to schedule a comprehensive insurance review, call Cities Insurance Group at 563-359-0854 or visit at 2550 Middle Rd Suite 506, Bettendorf, IA.

Cities Insurance Group is open for business Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 AM a.m. to 5:00PM p.m.

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