Boating Safety

Boating Safety NYSHBCA

What do you do when you see a Blue flashing light
on a marine patrol boat?

A marine patrol boat is an "Emergency Vehicle" on the inland bays and ocean. It's the same as a
police car on our highways. When underway in your vessel and you come upon a marine patrol boat
with a blue flashing light, you are to slow down as to create NO WAKE when passing. Most likely, that
marine patrol boat has another vessel along side and a large wake could damage the vessels and/or
injure persons on board. You are responsible for your wake! If a marine patrol boat comes upon your vessel with a blue flashing light and a siren, you are to slow your vessel down and when safe to do so, come to a complete stop and put the engine in neutral. The officer will instruct you with his intentions and as to why he is stopping your vessel. The marine patrol boat will come along side and possibly board your vessel.

Boating and Alcohol

50 percent of fatalities in the state’s waterways are linked to alcohol. According to the Coast Guard, a boat operator with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.10 is more than 10 times as likely to be killed in a boating accident as an operator who has consumed no alcohol. Many boaters may not realize that drinking while operating a boat is even more dangerous than drinking and driving. Research shows that a few hours of exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, vibration, and other motion on the water produces a kind of fatigue known as “boater’s hypnosis”, which slows reaction time almost as much as if you were legally drunk. Adding alcohol to boating intensifies these effects.

Small Boat Life Jacket Law

Beginning November 1, 2009,
Section 40, Subdivision 1 of the New York State Navigation Law shall be amended by adding new paragraph (e), which reads as follows:
No owner or operator of a pleasure vessel less than twenty-one feet, including rowboats, canoes, and kayaks shall permit its operation, between November 1st and May 1st, unless each person on board such vessel is wearing a securely fastened United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size when such vessel is underway. Failure to wear a lifejacket on such vessels will be considered a violation under Section 73-c of the Navigation
Law and is punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100, applicable to either the operator and/or the owner of the vessel.

Life Jacket Law for Children Under 12

New York State law requires children under 12 years of age to wear a Type I or TypeII life jacket when on board any vessel less than forty feet when underway, and a Type I, II, or III when on vessels 40 feet to 65 feet when underway. The law does not apply when children under 12 are within an enclosed cabin.

Life Jacket Types

Type I life jackets are for off-shore use. They turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. Type II jackets are for near shore use. They are yolk-style and are also designed to turn an unconscious person face-up in the water. Type III jackets are vest-style. They are the most popular and comfortable life jackets in use today for children. They are designed for calm waters use where
quick rescue is likely. They will NOT turn an unconscious person face-up. Boat Safely - Wear your Life Jacket!


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