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Boaters Urged: Secure Your Damaged Vessels

Removing electronics will prevent looting

Boaters whose vessels have become disabled in either Hurricane Sandy or the nor'easter that followed should remove electronics and personal items from them to prevent theft and looting, a national boating organization urged last week.

The advice is especially important as barrier island residents temporarily repopulate their hometowns, but will most likely have to leave their boats behind when they leave.

The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) also suggested boat owners place a "No Trespassing" sign on their boats along with contact information.

Despite the suggestion, the organization said boaters should not climb in or on boats that have piled up together or are dangling from dock pilings or other obstructions.

Boaters should also protect their vessels from the elements and further water damage by covering them with a tarp or boarding up broken windows or hatches. Boats should also be dried out, either naturally from sunlight or by using an electric air handler.

"All wet materials such as cushions must be removed and saved for a potential insurance claim," the statement from BoatUS said.

If one's boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, it is not recommended that boat owners sign any salvage or wreck removal contracts without first getting approval from the boat's insurance provider.

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