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Opinion: Boater Safety Law Needed

Steve Rossetti says licensing rule 'long overdue'

The following letter about boating safety is from businessman Steve Rossetti.

As a life-long resident of Long Island and life-long boater, I have spent countless hours enjoying our beautiful waters with my friends and family.   Our world-class beaches, boating, sailing, and fishing are among the best parts of our quality of life we cherish here on Long Island. Many Long Island residents consider these to be the main reasons that they choose to live and raise their families here.  But unfortunately, recent events have shown all of us that a beautiful day at sea can turn tragic at a moment’s notice

I have a great deal of experience in this matter and believe that I am qualified to speak for many in the boating community.  I have a captains license and master certification from the United States Coast Guard and have spent many hours training in boating safety. That is why I, along with many other boaters and public safety advocates, strongly support Legislator Steve Stern’s Suffolk’s Safer Waterways Act” and urge the Suffolk County Legislature to pass it without delay.

Unbelievably, currently there is no requirement for adults in New York State to complete a boating safety course in order to operate a pleasure craft in our waters. 

This law will require all boaters operating a vessel on Suffolk County waterways to complete an approved boating safety course, which will provide essential training about the “Rules of the Road” for boaters, education about equipment and navigation and emergency response training in the event of an accident. 

Our local Power Squadrons and Coast Guard Auxiliaries administer these courses.  No class will prevent all accidents and of course boaters should demonstrate common sense when operating a vessel.  But more than common sense is needed to safely operate a boat on Long Island’s busy waters.

This important initiative is long overdue and I hope that it will be enacted into law and help protect all of us who enjoy our waterways.

Ranger Sewer August 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Instead of going after the IRRESPONSIBLE BOAT OWNER, and I guess less votes from them, They would just BROAD BRUSH ALL BOAT OWNERS as IRRESPONSIBLE just to be PC.
Mariana August 14, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Do you even understand the threat which irresponsible boat operators represent to everybody else in the same waters?
Cut Government In Half September 15, 2012 at 02:15 PM
How misguided is this guy. Jersey and Conn have the law and have more boating accidents per capita than NY. Wake up sleepy head.
Cut Government In Half September 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Why not pass a law that says it is illegal to get into a boating accident.. hahahahaha Thats the logic of these Law lovers...
Will Carpenter September 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM
When I would come up the Houston Ship Channel in an 800-foot tanker, **licensed boaters** on jet skis made a sport of seeing how closely they could pass in front of me as I passed the anchorage at Bolivar Roads. If I had hit one, I wouldn't have known it until I docked and they would have been the ones in the wrong. I never did hit one, but if I had, I would have considered it as nothing more than chlorinating the gene pool. Bottom line? You can't legislate the most important commodity on the water: common sense.

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