Home Lifestyle Commissioner Causey urges water safety, offers boating insurance tips ahead of Memorial...

Commissioner Causey urges water safety, offers boating insurance tips ahead of Memorial Day holiday

Boating on the Pee Dee River. RO file photo

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urges North Carolinians to be safe on the water during Memorial Day Weekend by offering water, boating safety and insurance tips as part of National Safe Boating Week, which runs May 18-24.

“Beaches, lakes and pools will be crowded this Memorial Day weekend,” said Commissioner Causey. “The best way to stay safe on the water is to always wear a life jacket, follow safe boating practices like avoiding alcohol, and prepare for the unexpected by having the proper insurance plan in place.”

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,040 boating accidents resulting in 636 deaths and 2,222 injuries in 2022. Approximately $63 million dollars of damage occurred because of those recreational boating accidents.

Commissioner Causey offers the following tips for boaters to stay safe on the water this summer:

  • Always wear a life jacket. Make sure EVERYONE on board has a life jacket that is serviceable, properly sized, correctly fastened, and suitable for your activity.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in North Carolina and every other state.
  • Check the weather before going out on the water. Check the weather for storms, tides, currents, and winds.

Having the proper boatowners’ insurance plan will prepare you financially for the repair or replacement of your boat if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, theft, lightning, vandalism, collision, or severe weather.

Commissioner Causey offers the following insurance tips for boatowners:

  • You can lower your insurance premium by increasing your deductible. In doing this you will want to consider how much of a loss you can afford to absorb if you have a claim.
  • Keep your coverage current. Check with your agent at least once a year to make sure that your policy provides adequate coverage.
  • All newly acquired boats should be promptly reported to your insurance representative.

When choosing an insurance company, remember to shop around. Make sure you are dealing with licensed agents and companies. To learn more about the different types of coverages provided by boatowner and yacht policies, visit: https://www.ncdoi.gov/consumers/auto-and-vehicle-insurance/boat-insurance


Commissioner Causey also warns parents and caregivers of the risks of child drownings over Memorial Day Weekend, even in very small bodies of water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the number one cause of death for children 1-4 years old in the United States. Over 4,500 people died due to drowning each year from 2020–2022, 500 more per year compared to 2019.

For families going to the beach, remember to pay attention to the warning flags that indicate the possibility of rip currents. A rip current’s force is strong enough to pull even the strongest swimmer out to sea. If caught in a rip current, stay calm, don’t fight the current and escape the current by swimming in a direction parallel to the shoreline. If at any time you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself and call for help.

Commissioner Causey offers the following water safety tips:

  • Always watch children and never leave them unattended.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
  • Always keep a charged phone nearby.
  • Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
  • Understand the basics of lifesaving so you can assist in an emergency.
  • Install a fence at least four feet high around the perimeter of a pool or spa.
  • Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. Install an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.