FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2020
North Hempstead Officials Remind Residents to Follow Boating Safety Tips for 2020 Season
MEDIA CONTACTS: Gordon Tepper, Rebecca Cheng, Matthew Leonenko and Michael Anderson | (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead, NY - North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board would like to remind residents of responsible boating practices for the 2020 season.
“With summer here, it is important that we all make sure that everyone on the water is safe,” said Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Especially this year, it is incumbent upon us to ensure proper social distancing guidelines are followed when out on the water.”
The Town reminds residents to boat only with those in your household, always wear a face mask in public, maintain a 6 foot distance from others while at the dock, wash your hands after fueling your boat, be prepared and pack ahead to make less stops and to not raft up directly next to other boats.
According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division, “Coast Guard counted 4,168 accidents that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries, and approximately $55 million in damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents”
These chilling numbers are an indication that boaters need to be aware of safety measures on all waterways including when boating off of North Hempstead’s Town Dock in Port Washington.
Boating while intoxicated is not taken lightly, and can lead to serious consequences. In New York State, you will be arrested for BWI for operating a boat or personal watercraft with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. Just as with driving, alcohol affects your peripheral vision, night vision, judgment, coordination, balance, reaction time and ability to focus: all skills that are necessary to operate a watercraft.
To stay safe, boaters should carry the necessary boating information and certifications with them at all times. It is important to have the right safety gear and equipment before you get out on the water, such as a first aid kit, life jackets, and distress signals. It is also imperative for boaters to always be aware of the weather conditions, operate at a safe speed at all times, and avoid alcohol.
Safety Tips for Boating
• Wear a life jacket every time you are out on the water. United States Coast Guard estimated that over 80% of fatal boating accident victims could have been saved with the use of a life jacket. Remember, life jackets must be readily accessible; not in packaging or buried below other gear.
• Make sure all of your life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved and in good condition with no rips or tears. Replace worn out jackets so when needed, they will provide the buoyancy necessary to keep you afloat and alive.
• Size matters when it comes to life jacket selection and use. When boating with children, make sure they are wearing properly sized and fitted life jackets. Children must not be able to slide out of life jackets when they hit the water.
• Don’t operate a vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
• Pay attention to your surroundings and boat responsibly. Seventy-seven percent of deaths on boats occurred where the operator had no boating safety instruction.
Boaters are reminded to adhere to a “pack-in, pack-out” trash policy to ensure that garbage is not blown or tossed overboard. The Town’s Bay Constable monitors Marine Channels 9 and 16, and operates from the Town Dock in Port Washington, New York. Pump out services are also available during the summer season, for times and dates please call 516-767-4622.
For more information on safety tips and navigation rules, please call 311.