D'Esposito, Miller Urge NYS to Pass Legislation Requiring CO Detectors on Boats; Outline Safety Precautions for July 4th Holiday Week and Summer in Wake of Recent Deaths

Issued by: Council Member  Anthony D’Esposito

In the wake of several recent boating accidents, including two deaths believed to be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, Hempstead Town Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and New York State Assemblywoman Missy Miller are strongly urging residents to take precautions as they head out on local waterways for the July 4th holiday week and the summer. Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller are also calling on New York State to adopt legislation that would require carbon monoxide detectors on board all new vessels that include sleeping areas, galleys with sinks or enclosed head compartments. If adopted, New York State would be the second state to have such legislation.

Today at the West Marina in Point Lookout, Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller were joined by Commissioner Tom Doheny, Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways and Hempstead Town’s Bay Constables, as they displayed carbon monoxide detectors for boats, as well as outlined boater safety precautions.

“As a former New York City Police Officer and former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, I have responded to many water-related incidents throughout the New York area,” said Councilman D’Esposito. “While many of these accidents are preventable simply by being responsible and ensuring that proper safety equipment is on board, carbon monoxide is a silent and deadly killer. I am proud to support Assemblywoman Missy Miller and her legislation that would require carbon monoxide detectors on new boats.”

Assemblywoman Miller is one of the co-sponsors of state legislation (A8970B) that would mandate carbon monoxide detectors on new boats that have sleeping areas, galleys with sinks or enclosed head compartments. The Assemblywoman said the proposed law is criticial to the health and safety of boaters. She indicated that the same justification for home carbon monoxide detectors is applicable to many boats. Miller further observed that the recent tragic death of a couple aboard a boat on Fire Island underscores the importance of the bill that she has been championing.

“Let’s not allow another boating tragedy like the one that has taken the lives of a couple in Fire Island to occur,” said Miller. “We can prevent future carbon monoxide poisoning deaths on the water through education and with legislation that requires carbon monoxide detectors on boats.”

D’Esposito detailed general boating safety tips and discussed the key safeguards to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning while aboard a boat. Utilizing carbon monoxide detectors and avoiding running a vessel while sleeping aboard are crucial safety tips in avoiding CO poisoning. Additionally, no boater or passenger should be in an enclosed area of a moored or docked vessel with a boat engine running.

Councilman D’Esposito and Assemblywoman Miller also urged local boaters to be on the lookout for suspicious and potentially dangerous activity on the waterways this summer. Town of Hempstead Bay Constables will be out on patrol to look for boaters under the influence of alcohol, as well as enforcing basic navigation, conservation and marine safety laws and ordinances. Other boating safety tips include familiarizing yourself with local boating laws and regulations, wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, having a radio on board, making a “float plan” to let another person know where you will be sailing and for how long.

Town officials also urge residents to take boater safety classes. The Bay Constables offer safe boating courses for young adults and adults.

“The Town of Hempstead is committed to the well being of all boaters enjoying our local waterways, and we urge all residents to be safe this summer,” said Councilman D’Esposito. Concluded Assemblywoman Miller, “I am grateful to Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and the Town of Hempstead for supporting this important legislation to keep boaters safe in New York waters.”