I’m sure by now you’ve heard about all this Pokémon Go business. It’s one of the most popular mobile games ever, and it’s permeating virtually every facet of our lives at this point. Quick primer for the unfamiliar: Pokémon are little monster creatures that you catch and then use to “battle” others that have similar monsters. It’s based on an old video game but given new life in the mobile space. Why is all of this relevant? Well, this new version uses your smartphone’s camera to show you the creatures as if they’re actually in front of you. As such, people have become so engrossed in the game that they’ve gotten injured while walking, driving, and potentially in boats. As such, BoatUS has issued a few safety tips for people to observe this weekend and beyond:
- Be aware: The US Coast Guard reports “operator inattention” as one of the five main primary contributing factors in accidents. If you’re looking for water-based Pokémon like a Squirtle (that’s him up top), let your co-pilot on the boat drive the phone while you’re driving the boat.
- Watch cell phone battery use: The game is a battery hog, big-time. It’s a good idea to bring a charger or battery pack with you if you’re going to be out on the lake for a while, since you might actually need your phone for its intended purpose at some point during the day instead of catching Pokémon. BoatUS also reminds boaters that only a VHF radio can summon emergency help from the closest rescuers, ensuring the fastest response.
- Have fun: The BoatUS National Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia offers a Pokémon “gym” (the place where you go to battle your Pokémon against other players). There are gyms all over the place, in every town, so get out there and represent your team! (Insider’s tip: The yellow Pokémon Go BoatUS Marine Insurance underwriting team often battles other BoatUS departments, and for a limited time, free boat insurance quotes will be available to all players.)
We here at PDB are Red Team, in point of fact. Not that that matters, mind you. Anyway, if you're out on the boat this weekend, keep an eye on the water while you're searching for your Pokémon. And, uh, try not to stumble across any dead bodies. Yikes.