Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00
The July 4th capsizing of the Kandi Won resulting in three fatalities in Oyster Bay Harbor has focused attention on boating safety. Senator Carl L. Marcellino, along with members of the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, will be holding a public hearing to examine the current laws and regulations on boating safety in New York State and whether changes are necessary to protect the public on our waters. The hearing will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Town of Oyster Bay Hearing Room, 54 Audrey Avenue, Oyster Bay.
Senator Marcellino was recently contacted by the family of Victoria Gaines, the young girl who tragically lost her life in the Oyster Bay July 4th boating accident, to enlist his help in ensuring greater safety measures on New York waters. They want to create Victoria’s Law in her memory.
“This hearing will provide us with a forum to hear the concerns and ideas of all those involved in recreational boating. Unfortunately, you have people out on the water now who might not realize how dangerous their actions can be. As a state we need to review current policies to ensure we make boating a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone,” said Senator Marcellino.
Among those invited to testify are the Gaines family, the U.S. Coast Guard, Nassau County Marine Bureau, Town of Huntington Department of Maritime Services, Town of Oyster Bay Marine Enforcement Division and members of the boating community.
Recreational boating has and continues to be an important part of New York State’s recreational landscape. In fact, New York State is a leader in the number of vessels registered with almost 480,000 registered boats and many other vessels that do not require registration. In an effort to keep its waters safe, New York State has been a pioneer in boating safety, holding one of the oldest boating education programs in the country, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, along with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadron provides boaters of New York State with approved boating education courses that are recognized in all 50 states and Canada.
“Despite the emphasis on safety and boater education, tragic accidents continue to occur. The purpose of this hearing will be to review current state laws and regulations governing boating and possible changes to further preserve life and allow the waterways to be responsibly enjoyed by all,” concluded Senator Marcellino.
Oral testimony will be accepted by invitation only. Anyone interested in providing written testimony may contact Senator Marcellino’s Albany office at 518-455-2390 or 516-922-1811, the senator’s Oyster Bay office.