LongIsland.com reports that a press conference held Wednesday highlighted the dangers caused by a wave of inexperienced boaters taking to the waters surrounding Long Island. A recent tsunami of accidents, causing injuries and even fatalities, has been reported this summer as families buy boats and jet skis with vacation funds, searching for local recreational opportunities in lieu of traveling due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Just recently, two lives were lost in a jet ski accident and another life was lost in a boating accident, and six boaters had to be rescued by the Fire Island Ferry after their boat capsized. “Unfortunately, the majority of these accidents are due to inexperience and/or alcohol,” Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter remarked, adding that boat safety this summer is worse than she’s ever seen.
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Carpenter and other local officials warned boaters that for their own safety, they need to take training courses before operating watercraft, such as those offered by the United States Coast Guard. “Everyone who has a boat or a personal watercraft should be taking the Coast Guard course for boating,” remarked Ralph Scordino, the mayor of Babylon Village, at the press conference.
They also hoped to bring public awareness to the passage of Brianna’s Law, a recent New York state law that mandates all operators of motorized watercraft receive a boating safety certificate starting in 2025 and urges operators to obtain those certificates before going out to sea, even now.