Numerous boating safety educational classes will be starting around the Town of Huntington, spurred on in part by the Oyster Bay boat tragedy last summer.
Participants will learn the fundamentals of safe boating such as safe loading and operation, navigation rules, getting underway and accidents and emergencies.
“Recreational boating continues to be one of the most popular leisure activities among families and boating enthusiasts on Long Island. It can also be one of the most dangerous family activities,” said Councilman Mark Cuthbertson.
Participating in the safe boating program are the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boating Clubs, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the United States Coast Guard Post at Eaton’s Neck, the Huntington Harbor Master’s Office, Suffolk County Police Marine Division, the Neptune Sail and Power Squadron and village harbormasters and fire departments.
“Last year’s July 4th boating tragedy will be forever etched in our minds and hearts, which is why it is so vitally important to educate each and every boater on boating safety,” Cuthbertson said. “Our sincere thanks to all of the boating agencies and all who helped to make these classes available to the community."
Suffolk County passed a bill last year that requires boaters to take a safety course before operating in county waters. According the legislation, the safety certifications may be administered through such agencies as the United States Power Squadrons, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Those who violate this law face fines of $250, $500 or $1,000 for first, second or third offenses respectively.
“It is important that we as a Town honor the lives lost in the July 4th boating accident by doing everything in our power to fully and properly educate our boaters,” Councilwoman Susan Berland. “I am proud to work with my colleagues on the Town Board in partnership with Huntington’s various boating groups to bring boater education classes to the community. It is our hope that in doing so, we will never again have another fatal accident in or near our waters.”
The following courses will be available to the public; for additional information or for a list of additional classes that are available, visit: www.usps.org/Neptune or, www.cgaux.org/boatinged/class_finder/index.php.
March 5: Boating safety class starts at the Britannia Yachting Center, Tuesdays for 6 weeks, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
April 4: Boating Safety class starts at the South Huntington Public Library, Thursdays for 6 weeks, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
April 8: Boating Safety class starts at the Harborfields/ Greenlawn Public Library, Mondays for 6 weeks, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
April 13: Town Hall Board Room/100 Main Street, Huntington – 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., One-day state boating saefty class.
April 27: Boating safety class starts at the Bridge Marina, in Bayville for 2 Saturdays April 27 and May 4.
May 22: Sail class starts at the Britannia Yachting Center, Wednesdays for 6 weeks, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.