Lurking Below The Surface

BoatUS Safety Tip: Beware of Flood Debris

Lurking Below The Surface
Lurking Below The Surface

From BoatU.S.

Normally this time of year, boaters have to be concerned about cooler water temperatures, rapid temperature swings, and being more self-reliant as fewer boaters are on the water to help in a potential emergency. With the recent storms, however, you can add one more to the list: a dramatic increase in the number of submerged objects lurking on or just below the surface of rain swollen rivers, lakes and bays.

Bob Adriance of the BoatUS Damage Avoidance Program says, “The fact is that small boats moving at high speeds can be sunk easily by striking a submerged object, whether it’s a tree, parts of buildings, fences, landscape timbers or other debris washed down in recent storms.”

What’s the best precaution? Slow down after significant rain events and post extra lookouts – the more eyes the better. “It’s really a problem for any boat as running gear and outdrives can be damaged and lead to water coming in,” says Adriance.


BoatUS has these four tips:


Before you go: Have all of the safety and communications gear aboard and ensure the bilge pumps are working and there is no debris in the bilge. It’s always a good idea to have an extra bailer or two aboard, such as a bucket, emergency hand pump or even a cut-off detergent bottle. Also understand that navigational aids may have shifted.

Stop for any “thud”: If you hear a thud, always stop the boat immediately and inspect the bilge or storage compartments for damage — then check again a short while later. BoatUS Marine insurance claims files show that a crack can open up after a boat has bounced around a while. Another sign of damage is the boat may feel “funny” or less responsive, a sign that water is coming aboard.

Put on life jackets: If you find water coming aboard — even if it’s just a trickle — immediately put on your life jacket and notify the Coast Guard as you could lose the power and the ability to send a distress call on your VHF. It takes only seconds for a trickle to get worse.

Be prepared to improvise: If you do find a hole in the hull, bilge pumps alone may not stem the tide. Use anything you may have aboard such as towels, wooden bungs (keep them handy for plugging round holes such as prop shaft logs), or other gear to wedge into holes or cracks.


About BoatUS:
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services including towing services and boat insurance. It’s Damage Avoidance Program helps boaters learn how prevent injury or vessel damage using real-world examples from the BoatUS Marine Insurance claims files and other boating safety resources. For membership information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the Garden State's hottest bass fishing. Destinations

7 Best Bets for New Jersey Bass

J.B. Kasper - October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll find the...

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers. Striper & Hybrid

3 Deadly Bait Rigs For Stripers

J.B. Kasper

The colder waters of early spring are prime times to use bait rigs for stripers.

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against the pandemic with special giveaway. News

Outdoors Industry Honoring Healthcare Heroes: COVID-19

April 27, 2020

Various companies show appreciation to frontline defense – healthcare professionals – against...

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now