Plans have been announced to increase enforcement against unsafe and intoxicated boaters on the waterways near Brookhaven, according to Brookhaven officials.
On Wednesday, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and officials from the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau joined with the national Coast Guard at a press conference in Patchogue to promote safe boating and to announce plans to increase enforcement.
“The recent incident in the Great South Bay when a boat slammed into a jetty injuring two people underscores the importance of boating safety,” Romaine said. “I urge all boaters to wear life preservers and refrain from drinking alcohol while on the water. Boating while intoxicated is a serious crime, and if you are caught, you will be arrested. Let’s do the right thing on the water and have a safe and happy boating season.”
June and July are the busiest boating months on the waters off Long Island, and there are over 270 square miles of navigable waterways in the Town of Brookhaven alone. Last year, the Coast Guard reported over 4,000 boating accidents resulting in 560 deaths and 2,620 injuries. Alcohol is the leading factor in 16 percent of all deaths on the water.
At the conference, Romaine outlined several precautions that people should take to ensure safety on the water:
- Always check the local weather for impending storms.
- Always operate at a safe speed
- Prepare a checklist before boating: check flotation devices, navigation lights, sound-proofing devices and distress signals.
- Designate an assistant skipper just in case
- Don’t drink before or while operating a boat
- Know how to swim and administer first aid
- Take an approved U.S. Coast Guard boating course
- Take advantage of free vessel safety checks by local power squadrons or marine patrols
For more information, visit the U.S. Coast Guard’s website.