Three events this week focus on boating safety and regulations, spurred in part by the that claimed the lives of three local youngters.
On Monday, Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern, D-Huntington, proposed the Suffolk Safer Waterways Act, which would mandate that boaters display a safety course certificate while boating or face fines.
"A day on the water should be one of pleasure, not one that ends in tragedy, but too often that's exactly what happens," Stern said at a press conference at Tanner Park in Copiague on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the Town of Huntington is offering a forum on several aspects of boater safety. The one-hour forum starts at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at Town Hall. It is being held in partnership with the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs, the Huntington Harbormaster’s Office, the United States Coast Guard and Auxiliary, the Suffolk County Police Marine Division, Neptune Power Squadron, local fire departments and Incorporated Villages. Topics will include weather and communication, vessel preparation, emergencies and search and rescue scenarios.
And on Wednesday, state senators are planning a hearing in Oyster Bay on boat safety
Sen. Carl L. Marcellino, R-Syosset, said the meeting will examine current boating safety laws and regulations and whether changes are needed to The meeting, to be held at Oyster Bay Town Hall, is scheduled for at 11 a.m. The hearing will be held in conjunction with members of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.
“This hearing will provide us with a forum to hear the concerns and ideas of all those involved in recreational boating," Marcellino said. "Unfortunately, you have people out on the water now who might not realize how dangerous their actions can be."
A number of other accidents have occurred this summer. In July, a Seaford man was accused of driving a boat while intoxicated. In June, Christopher Mannino, of West Islip, was following a crash under the Robert Moses Causeway. A Dix Hills man has been charged with boating while intoxicated in that case.
State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, has similar legislation at the state level calling for mandated safety courses, as well as stiffer penalties for boating under the influence.