Preventing boating accidents.

Life preserver on railing

Although serious boating accidents are reported infrequently, they tend to be very expensive in terms of human and financial costs. These incidents serve as a reminder that you should review and update boat driver and jet ski safety programs and seek opportunities to improve them.

While state laws vary regarding boat driver/jet ski certification requirements (go to for details, including ages of jet ski participants), boat driver training for staff is only part of the issue.

Here are some suggestions to help prevent boating accidents:

  • Always use a spotter when towing any participants
  • Never follow or parallel another boat towing participants
  • Ensure all towed participants wear personal flotation devices; people on the boats should wear them as well
  • Check water-ski/tubing areas carefully for hazards such as submerged rocks or floating debris, particularly after storms
  • When operating more than one powerboat at a time in a specific area, equip one staff person with communications equipment (walkie-talkie); designate that person to be alert for and warn of boats operating unsafely or coming in close proximity
Life preserver on railing
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.