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HUB International New England Reminds Massachusetts Boaters that Safety is Paramount This Summer
Date:7/14/2008

- Following Some Simple Tips From a Leading Area Insurance Brokerage Can

Help Prevent Fatalities, Injuries and Damage -

WILMINGTON, Mass., July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Each weekend, upwards of 130,000 Bay Staters take their boats out on the water. While most consider boating a source of joy and entertainment, boating can be dangerous and even deadly if it is not done with care and precautions are not taken. Last year alone, nationally there were more than 700 boating-related fatalities, more than 3,400 boaters were injured and there was more than $44 million in property damage to recreational boats, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

With that in mind, HUB International New England, the state's largest insurance agency and one of the biggest operations with HUB International Limited, urges boaters to make safety a priority this season.

"Each year, hundreds of Massachusetts boaters are injured on our state's lakes, ponds, rivers and oceans," said John Tarantino, Director of Risk Management Services for HUB International New England. "Whether you operate a boat or are a passenger, it is important that you use common sense and follow safe boating rules."

With Massachusetts' 1,500 miles of ocean coastline, it's no wonder that residents here are some of the country's most avid recreational boaters. In fact, statistics show that people in Massachusetts spend more than $1.7 billion annually on recreational boating, which equates to 15 percent of the entire country's spending in this pastime.

The following simple safety practices can help boaters reduce the risk of danger, to themselves, to others and to their boats:

1. Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol.

2. Always wear life vests, especially in rough water. Last year, 90 percent of the recreational boaters who died while boating were not wearing life jackets, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. If you don't wear your life vests, make sure there are enough on board for each passenger and that they are easily accessible.

3. Take advantage of the U.S. Coast Guard's free vehicle safety check. Available to all recreational boaters, this safety check helps to identify problems before they happen.

4. Avoid speeding and reckless boating.

5. Take a boat safety certification course. Not only are these courses required for some segment of the population in 46 of the 50 states, but they provide a helpful reminder of boating etiquette, weather warnings, and general safety measures. The U.S. Coast Guard found that 70 percent of all boating fatalities last year occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction.

6. Obey all posted navigation signs and warnings.

7. Check the weather forecast before you leave the shore and keep your radio tuned to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio once out on the water.

8. Tell someone where you're going and what time you expect to return. If you're not back on time, it is that person's responsibility to notify the authorities.

9. Before leaving shore, make sure you have operational running lights if there's even the slightest chance you'll be out after dusk.

10. If you have an internal combustion engine, install a carbon monoxide monitor. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that is odorless, colorless and poisonous.

11. If you're trailering your boat, ensure that your trailer is in working order and your boat is secure before setting out.

12. Make sure you have enough fuel and oil for the entire trip.

13. Always carry a U.S. Coast Guard approved working fire extinguisher and keep it easily accessible.

14. Don't boat alone, if possible. Have a passenger act as a look-out to keep watch for swimmers, other boats and watercraft, rocks, shallow bottoms or other dangers.

About HUB International New England

HUB International New England, a HUB International Limited company, named one of the largest brokers in the region, has approximately 350 employees working in 18 locations across the area, based in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The operations that make up HUB New England are long standing brokerages with years of experience in arranging property and casualty, personal insurance and employee benefits programs for a wide variety of businesses and individuals. As a full-service brokerage, HUB New England offers clients the many advantages of working with a large, international company with a strong sense of local service and expertise. For more information, visit their website at http://www.hubinternational.com

Contact:

Liz Kennedy at (617) 888-9543


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SOURCE HUB International New England
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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