Common Yachting Emergencies

When you work in the yacht insurance industry, you learn the kinds of issues that arise for owners and operators out on the water.

Here are some of the most common yachting emergencies that our yacht insurance agents hear from clients.

Collisions: Mishaps happen, a yacht hits another boat, runs aground on a sandbar, or collides with a dock. Vigilance and adequate yacht insurance are your best defense against a crash.

yacht collision
Collision with Another Vessel

Person overboard: Storms, parties, and accidents are all causes for passengers to fall overboard. Ensure that your yacht has adequate rescue equipment and easily accessible life vests on board. Discuss emergency procedures with guests, so they know what to do in the event of a person overboard.

Flooding: Violent storms can flood a yacht as quickly as a gash to the hull. You (and your crew) need to know how to respond to a flooding emergency to minimize vessel damage and risk to passengers. Ask your yacht insurance agent about your salvage and repair coverages.

Fire: There are many different ways that a fire can start onboard a yacht. The galley and engine room are the most common; however, a candlelit for ambiance on the deck can be just as dangerous. Know the locations of your fire extinguishers and never ignore smoke on a vessel. Unattended yachts can also be subject to arson. Ask your yacht insurance agent about the circumstances that dictate your insurance coverage for fire and if your personal belongings are insured.

Medical incidents: The most common yachting emergencies are medical events. Any medical emergency is a possibility, including heart attack, stroke, diabetic shock, coma, broken limbs, falls, loss of consciousness, and seizure. Carrying essential medical equipment, taking basic emergency medical training, and carrying a phone with service can all be extremely helpful. Ask your yacht insurance specialist about your personal or business’s liability in the event a passenger has a medical emergency on your yacht.

Boating and emergency preparedness experts say that yacht crews and other boaters need to remember that every mile from shore is more time to a hospital during an emergency.

To be prepared for yachting emergencies:

  • Check that your fire extinguishers are in working order (not expired) and that people on board know how to use them
  • Stock your first aid kits
  • Take classes that include CPR and an automated external defibrillator (investing a couple of thousand dollars in an AED to have onboard could save a life)
  • Ask passengers to fill out a form (put in a sealed envelope) that details their medical history, health concerns, drug allergies, medications, and primary care doctor. Open only in the event of an emergency.
  • Require passengers to bring extra medications – in case you get stranded (the difference between life or death for someone taking insulin or blood pressure medication).

Contact our yacht insurance professionals to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for any event on or off the water.

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