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Experts Emphasize Boating Safety

Forum reminds boaters of rules and commonsense on the waters.

Experts in maritime safety and law enforcement spoke Tuesday at a packed forum of boaters and others at Huntington Town Hall.

The session was designed to underscore the need for education and safety awareness, and to elicit ideas of what boaters thought should be presented at Wednesday's hearing in Oyster Bay. That hearing, led by State Sen. Carl Marcellino, R-Syosset, was scheduled in response to the July 4 Oyster Bay boat sinking that claimed the lives of three children who were trapped in the water when the 34-foot boat they were on capsized and sank after a fireworks show.

In the audience in Huntington Tuesday were the parents of one of those victims, Victoria Gaines, who was 7. Paul and Lisa Gaines listened to the experts review boating regulations, discuss the need for better boater education, legal enforcement, vessel inspections and other matters. Paul Gaines did not address the crowd, but a tearful Lisa Gaines acknowledged a woman who spoke up about the need to avoid future tragedies and at the end, thanked the audience for coming to the forum.

The forum was taped for TV presentation at a later date.

Expert speakers included Gene Roemer, bay constable, Harry Acker, senior harbormaster, Lt. Thomas Martorano of the Suffolk County Police Department who detailed the need for accurate information when searches are conducted, and representatives of the Coast Guard, the U.S. Power Squadron, and firefighters from Centerport and Northport.

Wednesday's hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. hearing at Oyster Bay Town Hall.

FYI August 09, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Can anyone document the number of stops and summonses issued the day and evening of the 4th of July in the area of the Dolan fireworks show? Those facts seem to be unavailable for some reason.
John August 09, 2012 at 07:24 AM
I was in Northport Bay that night. I didn't notice any stops until all was over. A small boat traveling at a very high rate of speed was stopped by a law enforcement boat. I don't know I'd it was Asharoken PD or Northport PD. the boat was very crowded and the PD took it into Northport Dock.
FYI August 10, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Well, that's ONE! You would hope the enforcement agencies would want to publicize their presence by putting out the numbers of stops/summonses and infractions that were issued. I can only believe that the number was extremely minimal and that the boys were having a good time enjoying the day. People tend to be more observant of the laws when they are being enforced. Look at speed limit compliance on Asharoken. We need greater enforcement on the water. It appears that we are getting little currently. Just being out there doesn't count for much. I hope someone responds with numbers that prove me wrong. I'll be waiting.

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