ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 29, 2014 — After yesterday’s devastating tornados in the South and Midwest, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has these tips for affected boat owners to get the recovery process started and to preserve the value of boats damaged by the storms:
1. If insured, notify your insurance company as soon as possible. All BoatUS insurance customers have assistance available with post-storm recovery and are urged to call the BoatUS Claims at (800) 937-1937 as soon as practical. If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, it is not recommended that you sign any salvage or wreck removal contract without first getting approval from your insurance company. If possible, take photographs or videos of the boat before it is moved – these may help to quickly resolve your claim.
2. Play it safe. Damaged marinas could have fuel leaking from boats or other hazards, and understand that some facilities may need to temporarily restrict access until these hazards are taken care of. Only enter with permission and never climb in or on boats that have piled up together, are under damaged shed roofs, or are hung up on other obstructions.
3. Depending on your boat’s location, and if it is safe to do so, you may want to consider removing as much equipment as possible to a safe place to protect it from looters or vandals. It’s a good idea to put your contact information somewhere conspicuously on the boat – along with a “No Trespassing” sign.
4. Protect the boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather. This could include covering broken windows or hatches. As soon as possible, start drying the boat out, either by taking advantage of sunny weather or using electric air handlers. All wet and damaged materials items such as cushions should be removed, dried out and saved for a potential insurance claim. The storm may be gone, but the clock could be ticking on mold growth.
It’s over 70 years old, a thin magenta-colored line appearing on over 50 different navigational charts covering the Atlantic Coast and Gulf, snaking along the route of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, thanks to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and a public-private partnership with Active Captain, an interactive cruising guidebook, NOAA will be updating the “magenta line” on all of its newly-issued navigational charts to help keep boaters in safe waters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) submitted comments on the proposal to NOAA, who had initially proposed removing the line entirely. However, responding to BoatUS’ and other boaters’ comments, NOAA will tap into users of Active Captain to update the route in an on-going effort that will benefit the boating community.
“Some boaters had assumed the magenta line, which was last updated in 1935, was a precise route through safe waters,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Senior Program Coordinator David Kennedy. “However, over time the forces of nature made the line inaccurate as shoals shifted and underwater topography changed, leading some boats into shallows, over dangerous obstructions, or even into land. We thank NOAA for a change of course in keeping the magenta line, listening to boaters and coming up with a creative public-private partnership that recognizes the value of this important guide to navigation.”
For more information on Nautical Charts and Navigation Techniques visit http://boatsafe.com/navigation.
The magenta line appears in charts covering all Intracoastal waters, and is essentially two distinct routes along the eastern US and Gulf Coasts totaling about 3,000 miles in length. Said Captain Shep Smith, chief of NOAA’s Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division, “Today’s decision to reinstate the magenta line is not a quick fix. It will take at least three years to fix problems that were 70 years in the making.”
Boaters may contribute to the updating effort by joining Active Captain at https://activecaptain.com/.