Boating Safety: Remain Vigilant while on the Water

Boating is a popular choice of summer activity for groups across the country. Whether your group uses canoes on a winding river, rafts on a whitewater rapid, kayaks on a lake, or motorboats in the open ocean, these precautions will help keep your group safe on the water:

  • Plan your group’s itinerary, specifying where your boats and other vehicles should be and when.

  • Make sure that your group leaders have knowledge about the area, including specific water features: dams, rocks, debris, currents, sandbars, undertows, currents, and riptides. Communicate these dangers to the group, as well as information about dangerous local wildlife, like snakes, snapping turtles, and jellyfish.
  • Chaperones and participants should know how to identify common hazards, and how to react when one is sighted. Stay vigilant for other boats and/or swimmers to avoid collisions.
  • Avoid areas with rapidly moving water, such as rivers or rapids, without an experienced guide.
  • Boating groups should bring whistles, flares, first-aid kits, food, water, sunscreen, waterproof bags, towels, and extra clothing

Recruit experienced drivers

Recruit only experienced drivers, and place at least one adult spotter in each boat (in addition to the driver). Advise your drivers to avoid high speeds and sharp turns. Take particular care to prevent these common causes of accidents:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator inattention
  • Reckless maneuvering (or speeding, in some contexts)
  • Alcohol use

Be observant; watch out for other boats

Watch for other boats, especially slow- and fast-moving boats. Fishing vessels in open water and boats of swimmers and sunbathers anchored at sandbars both tend to be stationary or slow moving. In contrast, individual watercraft—as well as motorboats pulling tubers and skiers—tend to move quickly and turn suddenly. Keep an eye out for both situations.

If your group is taking motorboats, consider bringing paddles, a tow strap, and/or a cell phone in case one of the boats suffers a motor failure. Whether your group plans for a day of tubing or a lazy afternoon canoeing downriver, perform your due diligence to promote safety while your group is on the water.

November 10, 2022
Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan
Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s wise for ministries to evaluate their fire safety plan. Whether your ministry is hosting a holiday party, prepping treats for charity, or running a community kitchen, make sure you’re well-prepared with these tips.

Tags: protect, ministry, volunteer safety, fire safety, emergency
September 9, 2022
School is Back in Session
School is Back in Session

As school is back in session, it’s important to make sure your school is equipped with the correct safety procedures. Thinking about your school’s physical security as a series of layers can help you find gaps in your plan. Transportation and volunteers are just two important aspects of your school safety plan to think about.

Tags: protect, ministry, liability, christian schools, back to school, volunteer safety, child safety, transportation
July 15, 2022
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change

Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.

The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?

Tags: protect, ministry, religious freedom, liability
May 19, 2022
Five Common Tricks of Cyber Scammers
Five Common Tricks of Cyber Scammers

Cyber security is increasingly crucial in our technologically advanced world. Scammers use many schemes when attempting to steal your data, but you can outsmart them by understanding their methods.

Tags: ministry, cyber security, technology, data, protection
July 22, 2021
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit

Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.

Tags: ERC, payroll, tax credit
March 2, 2016
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now

When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.

Tags: weather emergency, lightning, storms, safety, protect
February 25, 2021
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles

Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.

Tags: protect, theft, vehicle
February 5, 2021
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet

As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes soars. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.

Tags: frozen, building, pipes, prevent damage
January 12, 2021
Potential Vulnerabilities in School's Safety Plan
Are there hidden vulnerabilities in your school's safety plan?

On behalf of our agency, I recently participated in one such training which focused on strategies and tactics for responding as a single officer to an active safety threat in a school building.

Tags: cyber security, digital, protect, risk
January 5, 2021
Church Safety Trends for 2021
Church Safety Trends for 2021

If you’re anything like me (and maybe the rest of the world for that matter), you’re grateful to put the craziness of the past year behind us.

Tags: cyber security, digital, protect, risk
November 23, 2020
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season

Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
October 28, 2020
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy

A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.

Tags: coverage, protect, liability, damages, youth
October 1, 2020
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.

April 13, 2020
Beware of COVID-19 Cyber Scams
Beware of COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Ministries are creatively scrambling to continue their operations and safely engage their congregations with an array of online technologies during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, hackers are ready to take advantage of the confusion with scams designed to steal valuable data or siphon funds from your ministry.

Tags: cyber security, digital, protect, risk
March 30, 2020
CARES Act: Churches Need to Apply Now
UPDATED: CARES Act: Churches Need to Apply Now

Learn about the CARES Act and two loans for which ministries may be eligible, since Congress authorized additional funding April 23. 

March 6, 2020
Coronavirus and Your Ministry: Tips for Prevention
Coronavirus and Your Ministry: Tips for Prevention

As concern over the dangers associated with the spread of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads, our agency and Brotherhood Mutual want to keep you informed and provide best practices for managing the spread of this and similar illnesses at your ministry.

January 29, 2020
Hosting a Game Day Bash? Brush Up on Copyright Basics
Hosting a Game Day Bash? Brush Up on Copyright Basics

The first Sunday in February is a big day for sports fans. In fact, many Americans view Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday. Friends and families will gather this year to watch the big game, enjoy delicious snacks, and of course, critique the commercials that go along with game day.

Are You Covered If You're Injured Overseas?
Are You Covered If You're Injured Overseas?

Recently, we learned about two major overseas incidents involving pastors on mission trips. The first incident involved a pastor being hit by a motorcycle while running. The second was a bus accident involving two pastors. The runner and one of the two bus passengers sustained extensive injuries.

Tags: missions, insurance
October 16, 2019
Stolen Church Trailer Leads to New Life in Christ
Stolen Church Trailer Leads to New Life in Christ
IRS Announces More Church Audits Regarding ACA Compliance
IRS Announces More Church Audits Regarding ACA Compliance

Last month, the IRS announced that its initiating hundreds of church exams to test compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While many provisions only apply to churches with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), even smaller churches could potentially violate provisions applicable to health benefit plans with as few as 2 plan participants.

Tags: ACA, IRS