WARNING SIGNS AND SAFETY NEWS FROM BOATU.S. MARINE INSURANCE
Buying a used VHF radio or an automatic identification system, or AIS,
unit? Beware. If you buy used equipment
with a maritime mobile service identity
(MMSI) number already logged into it,
you may not be able to track down the
previous owner in charge of the MMSI
to get it reassigned to you. The MMSI
goes with the boat. In an emergency,
your equipment may be sending out a
distress call with someone else’s information. Rescuers will be looking for a
different boat and will be calling the
previous owner of the equipment to
verify an emergency.
The process of clearing the old
MMSI and having it reassigned to
your control may even require shipping
the equipment to the manufacturer to
be reset. Before you buy a flea market
VHF, make sure you can contact the
previous owner. Visit BoatUS.com/
MMSI/MMSI/FAQ for more on
MMSI and resetting.
You might scoff at the notion of an
instruction manual for an extension
cord. There aren’t a lot of moving parts,
and most people usually don’t get injured
from using one. But around the water,
there are some important safeguards
that, if not followed, can cause a fire or
even electrocution. Here’s what you need
Don’t use a cord outside if it’s marked
“For indoor use only.”
Inspect your extension cords regularly,
and don’t use one if it’s damaged.
Don’t overload a cord. Determine the
total number of watts the cord will be
subject to (watts can be found listed on
the equipment being used). A cord will
specify its maximum watt load on a label.
If you exceed that, the cord can melt or
Turn off the load before plugging in
or unplugging the cord; otherwise, the
prongs can be damaged over time and
Don’t remove the grounding prong. If
the outlet can’t accept three prongs, it’s
not grounded and could be dangerous to
use, especially outside or near water.
Avoid multiple extension cords. Never
plug a two-prong cord into a three-prong cord; it will defeat
Don’t get the cord wet or
allow it to dangle in water.
If you’re working around
water, use a cord with a
built-in ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI.
If the extension cord gets
hot, stop using it immediately. It’s either overloaded or damaged.
Don’t coil or cover a cord
while in use. It can overheat under heavy loads.