On the eve of National Safe Boating Week and just a few days shy of Memorial Day Weekend, Supervisor Anthony J. Santino has announced that the Town of Hempstead Bay Constables will be providing free boat safety inspections on Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st. No summonses will be issued for any safety violations, and boaters will be advised on what actions they must take and/or equipment they must acquire to ensure “smooth sailing” along waterways in America’s largest township. What’s more, the Supervisor displayed some of the basic safety items that are required on all “pleasure craft” vessels. Joining the Supervisor at a press briefing were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby and Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
“The Town of Hempstead has some of the finest waterways on which boaters can sail, fish and cruise, but our number one priority is to ensure the safety of all neighbors out on the water this summer,” stated Santino. “We strongly urge all boaters to take advantage of these free inspections to ensure that their crafts are safe, stocked with fully operational emergency equipment and that they comply with local boating rules and regulations. Don’t ‘miss the boat’ on this great opportunity to get your boat ready for summer.”
All residents are invited to bring their vessels to the West Marina Boat Launch Ramp in Point Lookout (located on Lido Boulevard just west of the Loop Parkway) between the hours of 11 AM and 2 PM on Saturday, May 20th and Sunday, May 21st. Bay Constables will inspect boats and equipment, making sure that everything is in working order. As stated above, boat owners will not be issued fines for any violations and will be told exactly what needs to be fixed or placed on board. A typical inspection is completed in about 15 minutes.
“Every boater should take advantage of the boat safety inspection program,” said Goosby. “It’s a life saver.”
According to the United States Coast Guard, some of the basic equipment that boaters are required to have on board include life jackets, a fire extinguisher, a sound producing device such as a horn or whistle, visual distress signal such as a flare, navigation lights, backfire flame arrestor and proper engine ventilation. The town also highly recommends having a marine radio and fully charged cell phone on board.
“Knowing the right equipment to have on board your boat is critical to ensuring a safe day on the water,” said D’Esposito. “An inspection only takes a few minutes and it will give you and your passenger peace of mind.”
The Town of Hempstead Bay Constables are essentially the “police officers of the sea,” dedicated to enforcing local boating laws, rescuing boaters and vessels in distress, and targeting boaters who sail under the influence of alcohol. The Bay Constables also host New York State Safe Boating Classes, in which residents can learn about watercraft safety and meet the requirements to legally operate a boat. Several classes are being held in the month of June; for more information, please contact the Bay Constables at (516) 801-5608.
“In an emergency situation at sea, having the proper equipment and tools can mean the difference between life and death,” concluded Santino. “We are not looking to penalize boaters during these inspections. We only want to ensure that everyone on the water sails responsibly and remains safe.”