For Immediate Release Contact: Sandy Galef (518) 455-5348/(914) 941-1111
Galef Legislation on Boating Safety Passes the Assembly
Bill would require the phase-in of a boating safety course requirement for
mechanically propelled boaters in New York
(May 23, 2013) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef is pleased to announce that her Assembly Bill 3471, which amends the New York State Navigation law by requiring operators of mechanically propelled boats to complete a boating safety course in order to hold a boating safety certificate, passed the Assembly yesterday, May 22, 2013. The legislation will be phased in starting with boaters 18 years of age for the first year, and advance one year of age in subsequent years.
“Inexperienced and reckless boaters are significant sources of boating accidents and fatalities in New York, especially along the Hudson River and in the Long Island Sound,” said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef. “New York State is one of the top ten recreational boating states in the country, and I am extremely pleased that my legislation, which will ensure the safety and security of people that wish to enjoy our state’s historic and scenic waterways, has passed.”
The U.S. Coast Guard attributes 86% of boating fatalities in 2012 to operators that had not taken a boating safety course, and 91% to those who did not take a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)-approved course. In the year 2012 alone, the latest year for which data is available, there were 4,515 boating accidents, in which 3,000 people were injured and 651 were killed in the United States.
“I would like to extend a thank you to my constituents and to the boating safety community who helped advocate for the passage of this bill, especially in the midst of a tragedy,” concluded Galef, referring to the 2012 drowning of Ossining resident Bryan Johnson, 26, who was left stranded in an apparent prank involving a boat operator that drove away while Johnson was in the water. “I would also like to thank Senator David Carlucci for his co-sponsorship of this crucial legislation, and I urge my senate colleagues to pass this legislation so that this important protective measure can be signed into law.”