The shipwreck of the Costa Concordia the cruise ship that wrecked off the Tuscany coast after running aground certainly dominated TV and online news, It would have been difficult to miss a view of the shocking scenes of that cruise ship on its side in the water.
Actually, the reality this incident has found its way to our own neighborhood. News reports indicated that 126 Americans were aboard, and all looking forward to a great cruise experience. Local and national news outlets including CBS Baltimore reported that a Maryland woman, Anna Figueredo, and her daughter were among those passengers and that they were two of the last to reach a lifeboat. Now safely back home in Silver Spring, MD, Anna and her daughter are glad to have survived. Although their trip won't soon be forgotten, it's regrettable that it does not hold the fond memories they had hoped for.
Maritime commerce and pastimes are a part of the culture, here in midAtlantic U.S. The use of all the miles of coastline and waterways is pivotal for our commercial and recreational survival. So seeing that disabled Italian cruise ship should emphasize the risks of boating accidents, regardless of the size of the vessel – from giant cruise ship to small fishing craft or pleasure boat.
In our local waters, running aground is certainly a risk. There are many causes -- one of which is the build-up of silt, sand and stone (often called shoaling) and often caused by storms and resultant heavy currents. However, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that there are thousands of recreational boating accidents per year with other contributing factors ranging from lack of experience, ignoring boating regulations, traveling too fast for water or weather conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, to name a few.
With the recreational boating season just beginning, be sure that your boat is checked out for safety. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free advice and boating safety courses. In fact, just for the asking, the auxiliary will perform a full Courtesy Marine Examination (CME) of your vessel, They award a CME decal “Seal of Safety” to all boats that meet the standards. Learn more about the CME.
Have you checked your boat insurance coverage recently? If not, perhaps it’s time to sit down with one of our experienced agents who can help you determine whether you have the proper coverage and are receiving the best rates possible. Just contact us at your convenience to discuss your boating insurance.