Nine new patrol boats have been assigned to NY state and local police agencies to assist with marine law enforcement efforts.
“From Lake George to the Long Island Sound, New York is home to some of the best recreational boating in the nation,” NY Governor Cuomo said. “These new patrol vessels will help keep New York's waterways safe while improving security for all boat operators and passengers this season."
This year’s patrol vessels are assigned to:
Department of Environmental Conservation Police
New York State Park Police, Thousand Islands Region
Lake George Park Commission
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department
Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department
Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department
Suffolk County Marine Bureau
Town of Huntington Harbor Master
Town of Southampton Bay Constable
The Brunswick “Justice” vessels, which range in value from $78,000 to $150,000, were made possible through a Sport and Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. These police agencies will use the patrol vessels to enhance recreational boater safety and enforce the New York State Navigation Law.
Other boating and paddling safety reminders include:
All people are strongly encouraged to wear a personal floatation device whenever they are on the water. State law requires that children under age 12 wear a personal flotation device while on a watercraft. Also, check the weather forecast before heading out on the water to learn about potential storms and seek immediate shelter on shore if you hear thunder.
Know your abilities and take precautions when there are high or steady winds creating large waves, or when you are in strong currents. If you are paddling in waters where there are motorboats, keep close to shorelines and out of main channels. Also, boaters and paddlers should clean, drain and dry watercraft to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species.
National Safe Boating Week is a campaign sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council to spread the message of boating safety and encourage boater education. Boaters are reminded to practice safe and responsible boating, including wearing a life jacket; completing a safe boating course; properly equipping and inspecting their vessel; maintaining a prudent speed and refraining from mixing alcohol with boating. For more information about boating safety – including listings of boating safety courses – and marine recreation in New York State, visit www.nysparks.com/recreation/boating.
Boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:
Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at many boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
Drain the boat's bilge and any other water-holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells, and bilge tanks. This does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.
Drying boats also highly recommended but is not required under the new regulations. Boaters who are unable to dry their boats between uses should flush the bilge and other water holding compartments with water, preferably at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Microscopic larval forms of aquatic invasive species, such as zebra mussels and spiny water fleas, can live in as much as a drop of water. To ensure that these organisms are not accidentally spread, anything holding water should be dried, flushed or disinfected with hot water to ensure that these aquatic invasive species are not spread.