People who spend a lot of time at sea – for both professional and recreational purposes – understand that there are a number of risks associated with being out on the ocean. Investing in marine insurance is a proactive measure that all boat owners ought to consider, since accidents can happen at any time. One threat that fisherman, yachters and anyone else with interests on the water face is the possibility that marine life such as sharks, whales and dolphins can collide with boats, causing minor to severe damage.

This happened recently to a couple who had taken their yacht out onto the water off the County Mayo, Ireland, coast in mid-November. According to local news source Sail-World, they lost control of their 29-foot vessel after a school of dolphins crashed into it, damaging the rudder. Fortunately, the couple wasn't far from the coast when the incident happened, and was rescued by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

In 2010, Paloma Werner and Ralph Mothes experienced something truly terrifying when a 40-ton whale breached out of the water and landed on their 10-meter yacht off the coast of South Africa. The couple told MSNBC that they had enjoyed watching the marine mammal swim around their boat before it crashed onto it, leaving behind bits of blubber and barnacles and damaging the vessel's mast. Thankfully, Werner and Mothes were able to navigate the boat back to land.

"Only that evening did we really think about it, and when we saw the photo (taken by a tourist in a nearby boat) in yesterday's paper did we realize we were lucky to be alive," Werner said.

Hopefully most people who spend a lot of time at sea will never have to experience anything like these terrifying situations, but the fact remains that the risk is always there. By working with a marine insurance agency with years of industry experience, fishermen and recreational boaters can feel more confident taking their vessels out onto the water, knowing they're covered by the highest-rated insurance providers.

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