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NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com/PressRoom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

BoatUS: How to Recover Your Boat After a Hurricane

BoatUS Catastrophe Team salvage operations begun

Hurricane Florence tossed this vessel into the front yard of a private home in New Bern, North Carolina.
Download hi-res photo.
 

NEW BERN, N.C., Sept. 18, 2018 – With the remnants of Hurricane Florence now on the way out to sea and high waters still posing a threat in some regions, boat owners are starting recovery efforts. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team began field operations on Sunday, Sept. 16, in the Carolinas. To help affected boat owners with the recovery effort, BoatUS offers these five tips to assist boaters in recovering their vessels and starting the salvage process.

1. Get permission first. Never try to enter a storm-affected marina or boat storage facility without permission. Spilled fuel combined with the potential of downed electrical wires and a host of other hazards make them extremely dangerous places. Smoking is a big no-no. For your safety, never climb in or on boats that have piled up together or are dangling precariously from dock pilings or other obstructions.

2. Remove valuables. If your boat has washed ashore, remove as much equipment as possible and move it to a safe place to protect it from looters and vandals. It’s a good idea to put your name, telephone number, address and email somewhere conspicuously on the boat – along with a “No Trespassing” sign.

3. Minimize further damage. Protect your boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather. This could include covering it with a tarp or boarding up broken windows or hatches. As soon as possible, start drying out the boat, either by taking advantage of sunny weather or using electric air handlers. All wet materials, such as cushions, must be removed and saved for a potential insurance claim. The storm may be gone, but the clock is ticking on mold growth.

4. “Pickle” wet machinery. Engines and other machinery that were submerged or have gotten wet should be “pickled” by flushing with freshwater and then filled with diesel fuel or kerosene. To learn how to pickle a boat motor, go to BoatUS.com/Hurricanes/Pickle.

5. Consult your insurance provider. If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, BoatUS recommends that boat owners should not sign any salvage or wreck-removal contract without first getting approval from their insurance company. Proceeding without your insurer’s knowledge may jeopardize your coverage.

All BoatUS and GEICO Marine Insurance customers have assistance available for post-storm recovery and are urged to call the BoatUS Claims department at 800-937-1937 as soon as practical, or they may file a claim using the new BoatUS app or online at www.BoatUS.com/Claims.

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Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program offers policies underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.