New Boating Safety Law Takes Effect

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and State Sen. David Carlucci announced that a new boating safety law took effect May 1, in New York. This law, sponsored by Galef and Carlucci (Chapter 361 of 2013), requires all operators of a mechanically propelled boat, born on or after May 1, 1996, to hold a boating safety certificate, which would be granted following successful completion of an eight-hour boating safety course. New York State approved courses include those offered by New York State Parks, the U.S. Power Squadrons, or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Inexperienced and reckless boaters have caused many tragedies in the tri-state area in the past few years, increasing the rationale that education leads to safer boating. While many boaters may believe they understand how to operate a vessel safely, often they are at a loss when encountering kayakers, wakes, and large vessels. A boat operator making the slightest mistake can cause a tragedy, which has occurred all too often in the past couple of years.

“I am thankful that now that this new law has taken effect, we will start to see the end of boating operators with no training endangering themselves, those on the boat with them, and other boaters,” Galef said. “I have no doubt that this new law will ensure that boat operators receive an appropriate vessel safety education, helping to prevent and decrease the number of boating accidents on New York’s beautiful waterways.”

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