Issued by: Town of Hempstead, Office of Supervisor Laura Gillen
(LIDO BEACH, NY) - Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, Councilman Bruce Blakeman and Councilwoman Erin King-Sweeney joined Town of Hempstead Bay Constables during National Safe Boating Week to remind residents about safe boating practices before the busy Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day weekend kicks one of the busiest periods of time for boating traffic on Long Island.
“We want to ensure smooth sailing this summer for all of our residents and visitors during the busy holiday weekend, which marks not only the unofficial start to summer, but also to boating season,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen. “With over 110,000 registered boaters in the Long Island area, we take boating safety very seriously.”
In 2016, the Coast Guard counted 4463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2903 injuries and approximately 49 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
“Everybody enjoys the waterfront that we have here in the Town of Hempstead. We want to ensure that this experience is a safe and fun one for all so as we enter the holiday weekend we are reminding residents to be mindful of their speed, don’t drink alcohol while operating your boat and make sure you have all the proper safety equipment on your vessel, ” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
Other steps all boaters should take include familiarizing their selves with local boating laws and regulations, wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, having a radio on board, and making a “float plan,” so that other know where you will be boating and for how long.
“I am lucky enough to represent many of the communities on the south shore of the Town of Hempstead and we treasure our waterways,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney. “We urge everyone who is out on the water during this great summer season to respect all safety rules and our environment.”
The Town of Hempstead regularly holds free boating safety classes for residents. The next session will be on June 7th, 14th, and 21st from 7 to 10 pm in the Conservation and Waterways building at 1401 Lido Blvd, Point Lookout. Upon completion of the nine-hour course, boaters will receive a certificate of completion required to obtain a boating license. New York State requires all individuals born after May 1, 1996 to complete an approved boater education course before operating a motorboat.